“6 Underground” is full throttle Bayhem

Photo by Netflix

TMN film critic Gordon McPherson gives “6 Underground” two out of five bloody magnets.

Legendary director Michael Bay’s “6 Underground” is an insightful, thought provoking meditation on violence and freedom from oppression.

Just kidding! It bludgeons viewers with explosive immaturity until they emerge tangibly less intelligent than they were beforehand.

Sure, perhaps watching a little brain-dead carnage is warranted during this dreary January snowpocalypse. The film is so relentlessly mindless, however, that I was left feeling drained by the time the end credits rolled. 

“6 Underground” follows a vigilante group devoted to murdering the most malevolent people society has to offer. After faking their deaths, seven anonymous individuals are ready to make a difference. Led by Ryan Reynolds’ creatively named character, One, the squad aims to better society through horrendous violence and destruction (but don’t worry, they only target “bad guys”). Also joining the fray are Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven — played by Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco and Corey Hawkins — filling typical action movie archetypes with a couple twists. 

After One witnesses a hospital bombing in the fictional country of Turgistan, he commits himself and the team to ousting Turgistan’s authoritarian leader, Rovach. The end goal is putting Rovach’s democracy-loving brother in office. With enough guns and gadgets, it seems anything’s possible.

Sports cars, scantily clad women, annoying pop music, middle school humor, frantic editing, rotating low angle camera movements and huge explosions all take center stage in “6 Underground,” often simultaneously. 

In other words, this is pure, unadulterated Bayhem from start to finish. Plot coherence, character motivations and social commentary are sidelined in favor of ridiculous action sequences and juvenile humor.

The more one thinks about “6 Underground,” the more troubling the film becomes. Bay’s love for cinematic violence and political incorrectness is fully apparent, destroying his credibility as a filmmaker with something meaningful to say. 

Fortunately, everyone involved recognizes that “6 Underground” isn’t trying to be high art. Rather, the film aims to entertain purely on a gut level and proves surprisingly enthralling in short bursts.

Indeed, Four’s parkour skills are equally impressive and hilarious to behold — especially when AWOLNATION’s “Run” starts playing on the soundtrack.

A climactic confrontation on a yacht is also quite memorable. Reynolds’ character just happens to specialize in weaponizing magnets, apparently. Bloody hilarity ensues.

Reynolds, Laurent and Garcia-Rulfo also do a great job with what they’re given, taking into account their frequently absurd dialogue.

Despite these undeniable charms, “6 Underground” ends up being a cruel sensory overload when all’s said and done. Some sequences — the opening twenty-minute car chase, for example — are downright incomprehensible because of Bay’s editing and refusal to limit himself.

Perhaps the film appeals most to viewers who refuse to set higher standards for themselves and their precious time spent on planet Earth. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but this friendly neighborhood movie reviewer expects more from filmmakers and from humanity in general.