6 Underground introduces a new kind of action hero. Six individuals from all around the globe, each the very best at what they do, have been chosen not only for their skill, but for a unique desire to delete their pasts to change the future. The team is brought together by an enigmatic leader (Ryan Reynolds), whose sole mission in life is to ensure that, while he and his fellow operatives will never be remembered, their actions damn sure will.
The barely marketed 6 Underground hit Netflix this weekend and it was a magnificent mess of a movie. Ryan Reynolds stars as One, a brilliant boy genius who made billions off of magnets. Neodymium magnets to be exact which has a crap load of real world uses, seriously it’s a thing. So, he’s like Elon Musk rich but something bad happens to him about 4 years ago so he runs around with CIA, Spec-Ops teams, and other bad asses training with them, cuz again, He’s RICH AF!! When not in training, One also spent most of the next year of his life erasing himself from the public eye and all databases and so on that by the time he “dies” he’s already vanished from any background checks anyone would run on him. One puts together a team of people to help him in his quest for justice. Everyone on the team is given a number and it’s forbidden for them to use their actual names, the full team is: Two - an Ex-CIA operative, Three - Hitman, Four - Thief & Parkour expert, Five - The Doctor, Six - driver/street racer. On their first mission its total screwup and (SPOILER) a team member dies, so now he has to find a new person to fill out the team so in comes Seven (yes the new sixth person is named Seven, move along citizen) – an Ex-Army Sniper who lost a lot of his entire team when he did not get the order to fire on a suicide bomber in a disguised UN Van.
So, what’s the story about? One shows the team his mission board and explains that there are currently nine people in the world who are so evil that they need removed from it. Their first job is to take out a dictator who attacks his own people with chemical weapons and uses fear to keep everyone in line. This movie is just about him, so what they are already telling us is that we want to make 6 Underground a nine-movie franchise … OK, sure. So they’re going in to do some “Mission Impossible” super spy work to remove a dictator and replace him with his a ruler who will actually help the people of the country and not kill them. It’s a pretty basic plot, there’s no way to screw this up. At least that’s what I thought once I hit play.
The major issue is how the story gets told. We start with One, flying his single propeller plane thru a canyon narrating to us about being a ghost and having the freedom to do what you want once you die then he “kills” himself and he finishes with “That happened three years ago.” “But the real story starts about 4 months ago on my teams first mission…” and on screen we get a black screen with the words ‘The Past’. So, we were just told the scene we looked at was 3 years ago, we’re shown the words the past, but told its 4 months ago which technically yes, it’s the past, but my brain is automatically thinking a time period older than 3 years ago. Anyway, what follows is an incredible car chase scene thru Florence, Italy and I have to say the action sequences in this movie are freaking fantastic. Maybe a bit over the top at times but c’mon folks its Michael Bay, whether you like him or not, you know there’s gonna be some crazy car chases and lots of “BOOM!”
The rest of the movie spends its time jumping back and forth thru time, in one scene the screen tells us 6 months later, but 6 months from when? 4 years ago? 3 years ago? When this 6 month backstory is done One tells us “and now you’re all caught up.” Black screen “The Present” .. except for the fact that in 1 minute and 15 seconds they jump back in time to give us a little backstory on Two and how she captured the man they now have to rescue. Right after this there’s more backstory on One, obviously we were not all caught up. This mish mosh of MTV-esque storytelling goes on for the first hour of the movie. The second hour is the actual mission we all tuned in to see, sadly by this time my “give a damn” about this movie died, 3 years ago, with Ryan Reynolds character’s flashback.