Netflix has gotten in the habit of betting big in December, creating an at-home offer to counter the usual blockbuster cinematic treat (this year: The Last Jedi). Last year it was Bird Box, the year before that: Bright. This year the Netflix holiday bet is a Michael Bay movie starring Ryan Reynolds called 6 Underground. It’s written by Reynolds’ go-to screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. It sounds like a Reynolds movie—all quips—and looks like a Bay movie—all explosions and hot girls in tight clothes—and looks like a mess. I can’t even tell who the bad guys are. Is Ryan Reynolds a bad guy? Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy who kills badder guys? How are all these people related? Why do they form a group? Why do they need to fake their deaths to form a group and kill bad(der) guys?
More importantly, why I am looking for sense and story logic in a Michael Bay movie? I know better than this. I was just thrown by thinking that Melanie Laurent is the villain right up until that last shot of the group together, and now I have a bunch more questions. Chiefly, why turn a yacht into a magnet? If the superyacht is a super-magnet, wouldn’t it pull other boats to it, too? It just seems like they’re really overthinking this giant yacht-magnet thing. Although I imagine this super-yacht-magnet is Jesse Pinkman’s favorite thing ever. Wait, is 6 Underground part of the Breaking Bad universe? Is Jesse Pinkman one of the fake-dead good/bad guys? IS HE THE VILLAIN?
There is no point in looking for sense and meaning in a Michael Bay movie, this way madness lies. Ryan Reynolds is going to do his Ryan Reynolds thing, Melanie Laurent is here looking hot and dangerous, there will be a lot of explosions, nothing will make sense, and if we’re lucky Michael Bay will restrain himself to only one up-angle shot of women’s asses. I am a bit surprised this is a Michael Bay movie, not because it’s on Netflix, because now that Martin Scorsese is on Netflix no one is too good for it, but because 6 Underground looks like a Fast/Furious knock-off. For better or worse, Bay’s movies are usually more visually distinctive than this. I don’t know if this is because Bay is slacking or because the Fast/Furious movies have so wholly co-opted his “big explosion, hot girl asses” formula that they are now indistinguishable. This trailer leaves me with so many questions. I know there will not be sensible answers to any of them, but I feel set adrift, at sea, baffled, befuddled, bewildered. After seeing the 6 Underground trailer, all I know for certain is that I cannot wait for the “6 Underground Challenge” in which YouTubers fake their deaths and become vigilantes.
Attached - Ryan Reynolds in New York last week.