6 Underground (film)
Official release poster
|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Music by||Lorne Balfe|
6 Underground is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Michael Bay and written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, and Ben Hardy. Bay produced the film with his longtime business partner Ian Bryce and Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger.
Four years after witnessing the horrors of a brutal regime in the Central Asian nation of Turgistan, an unnamed American billionaire and philanthropist who made his fortunes from inventing neodymium magnets fakes his own death to form an anonymous vigilante squad to take down criminals and terrorists that governments will not touch. Now known as "One", he recruits five other people to abandon their pasts and join his cause as "ghosts": Two, a spy; Three, a hitman; Four, a parkour runner and thief; Five, a doctor; and Six, a driver.
On their first mission in Florence, Italy, the team kills the lawyer of Turgistan's four generals before they are chased across the city by the Mafia and the police. Six is killed just as they manage to get away. Days later, One recruits Blaine, a former Delta Force sniper suffering from survivor's guilt over his inability to save his team due to orders in Afghanistan, and renames him "Seven". One plans a mission to stage a coup d'état to topple the government of Turgistan dictator Rovach Alimov and install his imprisoned brother Murat as the country's new leader during the Day of the Dead. It is revealed that Two had reluctantly captured Murat and handed him back to Rovach before becoming a Ghost.
The team assassinates Rovach's generals in Las Vegas and successfully extracts Murat from Hong Kong, but Four is nearly killed until Seven intervenes despite protests from One. Following an argument between One and Seven about One's willingness to leave people behind, the Ghosts break their code of anonymity and reveal each other's names. In Turgistan, One sets his plan in motion by hacking the state-run television station during Rovach's address to give Murat a voice to the people. Murat's impromptu speech inspires the citizens to revolt while strategic explosions in the city force Rovach to evacuate to his private yacht and Murat occupies the palace. The Ghosts storm through the yacht and One activates a magnetic pulse to incapacitate the guards. When the yacht is immobilized in the middle of the ocean, One decides to save Four from a henchman instead of capturing Rovach. Rovach flees by helicopter, only to discover it to be commandeered by Murat and the Ghosts, who drop him near the border to feed him to the refugees that fled his regime.
In the aftermath of the revolution, Murat becomes Turgistan's new president and the ghosts part ways until they are once again needed. Two and Three begin a relationship, as well as Four and Five, and One travels to New York City and sees his son, whom he will pass his fortunes to should he die in the next mission.
- Ryan Reynolds as One
- Mélanie Laurent as Camille / Two
- Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Javier / Three
- Ben Hardy as Billy / Four
- Adria Arjona as Amelia / Five
- Dave Franco as David / Six
- Corey Hawkins as Blaine / Seven
- Lior Raz as Rovach Alimov
- Peyman Maadi as Murat Alimov
- Yuri Kolokolnikov as Baasha Zia
- Kim Kold as Daqeeq
- James Murray as Caleb
- Ron Funches as Blaine's cousin / the funeral speaker
On March 7, 2018, it was reported that Michael Bay would direct the action thriller film, 6 Underground, based on the script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, which would be produced by Skydance Media's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger along with Bay. In May 2018, it was reported that Netflix would distribute the film, for what they intend to be a new action franchise with Ryan Reynolds starring in the lead role.
In July 2018, Dave Franco, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy and Lior Raz joined the cast. In August 2018, Mélanie Laurent and Peyman Maadi joined the cast of the film. Principal production commenced on July 30, 2018.
Over the subsequent months, shooting would be completed in several cities of Italy, in Los Angeles, Budapest, and in the United Arab Emirates: in Al Ain, Liwa Oasis, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Al Jazirah Al Hamra (standing in for Nigeria and Afghanistan) and, particularly in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In the UAE, 24 locations were used, some standing in for Las Vegas, Afghanistan, California, Hong Kong and the fictional Turgistan. The UAE military worked with the crew, providing soldiers as extras as well as aircraft that appear in the film. Production designer Jeffrey Beecroft made this comment: "I’ve shot a lot of military stuff with Michael, but I never had the ability to have six Apache [helicopters], 10 Black Hawks and soldiers".
In Italy, some filming was also done at Cinecittà Studios in Rome and on the Kismet (yacht), rented from owner Shahid Khan. The lengthy car chase, set in the historic center of Florence, consisted of sequences filmed in Florence itself, between August 22 and September 22, 2018,  but also in Siena, Rome and Taranto. Michael Bay was able to obtain permits to close streets to film the speeding cars. In an interview, Bay expressed some surprise that Florence had allowed filming of the car chase in its historic area. "There’s a lot of priceless stuff in this movie, like where we have cars flying between an obelisk. Why they allowed me to have flying cars by an obelisk that’s 800 years old, I don’t know. But we didn’t hurt anything," he recalled.
After watching their videos on YouTube, Bay brought on British parkour team Storror to choreograph and perform the parkour sequences in the film. They perform the stunts between skyscrapers and cranes, with some scenes on the Florence Cathedral.
Principal photography wrapped on December 5, 2018.
The film's production reportedly cost $150 million.
The film premiered at The Shed in New York City on December 10, 2019, and was released digitally to Netflix and in limited theaters on December 13, 2019. On January 21, 2020, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 83 million viewers on its service within its first month of release.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 37% based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "6 Underground is loud, frenetic, and finally preposterous – which is either bad news or a hearty recommendation, depending how one feels about the movies of Michael Bay." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 41 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Amon Warmann of Empire gave the film two out of five stars, claiming it has potential and praising Reynolds, but found the rest derivative of Bay's prior work. David Fear of Rolling Stone gave the film one-and-a-half out of five stars, saying that "This is a Michael Bay movie. It’s like someone is repeatedly poking you in the parts of your brain that register mere sensation, and keeps hammering away until a line of drool drops from your downturned lip. I get it. So do you. You’re not going to watch it. Or you are going watch it, and either decry the death of all Western civilization or pump your fists in the air. It’s another lingerie catalogue sprinkled with carnage." Ram Venkat Srikar of Cinema Sentries wrote "No amount of high-budget action can make up for what it lacks on paper."
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Ryan Reynolds, director Michael Bay and the film crew discussing the complex 27-day shoot in the Emirate
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Shoot in the capital Abu Dhabi took place in 24 different locations
- "'6 Underground' in Abu Dhabi: new video released from behind the scenes". The National. December 18, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
'Abu Dhabi was wild to shoot in. Because in our movie it’s California, the Middle East, it plays as Hong Kong as well
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Three base camps have been set up in piazza Vittorio Veneto, lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, and piazza Ognissanti,
- "Behind the scenes: 6 Underground". IBC. December 3, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
Adrian Pennington speaks with cinematographer Bojan Bazelli about creating practical effects for Bay’s new Ryan Reynolds-starring action blockbuster.
- "The Near-Death Experiences of Michael Bay". Vanity Fair. December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
The director of Netflix’s 6 Underground recounts his close calls, fiery escapes, and how chaos has made him more cautious.
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- White, Peter (October 1, 2019). "Netflix Sets Premiere Date For Ryan Reynolds/Michael Bay Action Feature '6 Underground'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Hayes, Dade (January 21, 2020). "Netflix Calls 'The Witcher' Biggest New Show, Reveals Viewership Stats For 'You' & '6 Underground' As It Explains Ratings Methods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
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- "6 Underground Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
- Warmann, Amon (December 13, 2019). "6 Underground Review". Empire. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Fear, David (December 13, 2019). "'6 Underground': Movie Stars, Action, Guns, Booms, T&A, Michael Bay". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Ram Venkat Srikar (December 16, 2019). "'O6 Underground':". Retrieved January 16, 2020.