6 Underground is a rare glimpse at director Michael Bay’s unfiltered id, a two-hour celebration of fast cars, big action and even bigger explosions. To quote lead actor Ryan Reynolds, it is “the most Michael Bay movie that Michael Bay has ever Michael Bay’d”.
The story revolves around a crack team of private mercenaries assembled by Reynolds’ character, the mysterious billionaire One, whose mission is to lead a violent military coup in a fictional Middle-Eastern country. And no, this isn’t some sort of witty satire or self-conscious joke – the whole thing is played completely straight.
The biggest problem with Bay’s films has always been their unsettling political implications and here, we see him unashamedly justifying brutal military intervention (specifically American) in other countries. We all should know how that turns out by now.
Being Bay, he is about as subtle as a cinder block to the face. By far the worst examples are two references to the 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in Syria and the overthrowing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 that are so on the nose, you could charge Bay with assault.
It’s clear Bay believes he is making some sort of important point with this film. He just doesn’t seem to realise that the point is terrible.
Bad politics aside, the film is more or less a typical Bay action film, only now cranked up to 11 thanks to its R rating.
If you want some idea of what to expect, imagine Bay’s Transformers series if he was allowed to swear and actually show all the civilian casualties instead of just implying it and you’ve got a pretty good idea.
It’s certainly an exciting ride while you’re on it but like the rest of Bay’s films, it will leave you feeling rather uncomfortable when it’s over and think about it for more than five seconds.