Warning: This post contains spoilers for the movie 6 Underground, proceed with caution!
As I finished this movie last night and watched the credits roll, I couldn’t help but think how awesome 6 Underground was. However, I also couldn’t stop thinking about how confusing it was either. Even though it was masterfully crafted by Michael Bay, the movie itself left so many questions in my mind that didn’t truly make sense until I went and did some post-movie research on my own. After it’s first weekend available, 6 Underground isn’t doing so well on the critics/rating scales (34% rotten tomato score and a 6.4 on IMDB), yet 90% of fans have enjoyed the movie according to google and other review metrics. Of that 90% of people, I’m pretty sure a good chunk of them were also just as confused as I was, so I decided to go ahead and breakdown the movie for everyone else who is in a similar position to me.
Let us start out with all the positives of the movie. For starters, the second the movie starts you’re immersed in a soundtrack that could not be more perfect for this movie. As the action unfolds and begins picking up, the songs seamlessly transition to upbeat electronic music that draws you to the edge of your seat and leaves you wishing you were there with the team. I think my favorite song paired with the scene it was representing was AWOLNATIONS Run, which drops right as Ben Hardy’s character (Four / 4 / Billy) attempts his escape across a massive crane atop one of Hong Kong’s many massive skyline buildings. On top of the soundtrack, the casting of this movie was just a treat. Ryan Reynolds, Ben Hardy, Dave Franco (RIP, gone too soon), and the countless other actors and actresses absolutely slew (no pun intended) this film. The story itself was also a fresh take on the typical American action movie we’ve gotten used to seeing, even with the forty minutes of confusion at the beginning.
This movie did almost nothing wrong in my eyes if I’m being brutally honest. But, if there was one thing I could have used less of it was the absurd amount of gore that spread the entire (and I literally mean from beginning to end) movie. Stuff like this typically doesn’t bug me either, but there were so many exploding heads and ragdoll dead bodies flying through the air that I actually almost got sick at one point. There must’ve been at least 200 on-screen deaths in this movie, which may not seem like a lot, but each and every one of them had some sort of gruesome aspect that was clearly visible no matter where you averted your eyes to on the screen. Overall, this would in no means affect my rating of this movie as I knew it was going to be a little extra based on the trailer, but come on Michael Bay, calm down on the unnecessary bodily explosions.
Around 40-45 minutes into the movie was where everything started to click and make sense for me. The whole timeline of everything before that was where I was confused. This movie jumped back and forth between five of the seven members’ backstories while also jumping between their first mission as a team and their present-day situation. The thing is though, the distinction of the backstory wasn’t exactly clear until the third or fourth one when you finally realize that these are all in the past and not missions each individual team member was now on in regards to the present-day mission Ryan Reynolds had already explained. Not to mention, Ryan Reynolds mentions a list of nine bad guys before we start seeing stuff about the first (and only) villain of the movie. So I was anticipating a bunch of mini-assassinations throughout the entire movie which also added a thin layer of confusion on top of everything else. Plus, Ryan Reynold’s character (#1 / One) had met the villain previously and this was a part of his backstory, which once again made my brain have to go into overtime later on in the movie to realize this was not all present-day stuff. The second the backstories end and you realize what is actually past and what is present, this storyline is absolutely fantastic.
So, even with the endless unnecessary violence and confusing plotlines to begin the movie, I would rate 6 Underground much higher than what critics are giving it currently. It deserved at least an 8/10 in my eyes. And to look at the bright side of things, the way this movie started with the mention of eight other evil villains could simply mean they have other stories to tell and that eventually, the 6 Underground movie will turn into a franchise. We all know how expendable the characters are (again, RIP Dave Franco) so there are plenty of opportunities for the writers/producers to confuse us a little more as we learn about team members 8, 9, or 10. Go give this movie a chance though if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it.