6 Underground (Netflix)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy, and Dave Franco
Directed by Michael Bay
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Why would Netflix do this to Michael Bay? Why would Michael Bay do this to us? Why would we do this to ourselves?
Watch a typical Michael Bay film—this means, high-end cars speeding and crashing in touristic cities where one night’s stay would cost you your entire lifetime’s saving—on your phone screen. I spared myself and Mr Bay that ultimate affront (the phone crawl). I watched 6 Underground on a much larger screen, but still not large enough.
So the question again, why release a film meant to be enjoyed on the 70mm screen, on a kerchief-sized medium where Mr Bay and the very charismatic Ryan Reynolds vie for attention with various viral videos, not to mention porn sights.
6 Underground is porn for the action genre. No shame attached. Bay takes unabashed pleasure in playing footsie with our adrenaline. He kicks in the action early in 6 Underground. The opening chase sequence with sleek cars skidding in the interiors of posh high-domed churches of Florence is something I haven’t experienced before.
Henceforth Florence will never be associated with nightingale.
What would it look like on the big screen! This is a question that came to me over and over and over again as the film’s six protagonists rush from one scenic city to another in pursuit of adventures that are not only a feast to the eyes but a hammer-knock to the solar plexus.
The kinetic plot about displacing a despot, has no names for its six agile characters, only numbers. The actors are not supposed to be polishing their performing skills here. It’s all about how fast each player can run, in a manner of speaking. Number Four, played by Ben Hardy, who is a parkour aficionado has some of the most heart stopping stunts in the film.
Ryan Reynolds, as the team leader is One. He seems to be having fun. If only the screen was large.
Size does matter. 6 Underground proves it. Watching it on the shrunken screen is like admiring a miniature souvenir version of the Taj Mahal on your desktop pretending you are visiting the real monument.