6 Underground: Reel Dialogue Short Take
Short Take: A film industry term that means something that only takes a short time.
A short review of a film with potential discussion points
Summary: What do you get when you combine the visual madness of director Michael Bay (Transformers), the verbal hi-jinks of Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and the second-largest budget from the fine folks at Netflix? A mad-capped, over-the-top and bombastic adventure that could only come from the man who brought us Bad Boys, Armageddon and The Rock.
Reynolds plays the fast-talking tech billionaire (technically a magnet expert) who fakes his own death. Then he recruits a group of vigilantes who desire to leave their pasts behind them by falling off the grid. The team is chosen because of their specific skill set and willingness to take the law into their own hands to bring down the worst dictators of the world. None of the team knows one another’s names, but each is identified by a number. Each is a ghost to society and gain a new level of freedom that allows them to address the injustices of humanity with no one to hold them back. The challenge to keep their anonymity from one another becomes more difficult as their admiration grows for each team member as they continue to work together.
Short Take: Anyone who takes this film seriously is missing the point. This film is meant to be ridiculous, crazy, unbelievable and mindless fun. The action is excessive, the violence is grotesque, everyone is beautiful (except for the villains) and this is the type of film Michael Bay should make. A style that defines this director and a story that makes complete sense in his hands. Even though this world only exists within his realm of any reality.
This film is more Deadpool than Transformers and is not meant for the younger set. 6 Underground exists for all of the fans of the Fast and the Furious franchise who want to see what things to be ramped up for adult audiences. Reynolds character even has a dislike of the word ‘family’ which epitomises the Vin Diesel series. Who would have thought that anyone could outdo the stunts of Fast and the Furious, but Bay pulls it off. The question is whether this will become another Netflix franchise?
Critics will hate this film for even existing, but it feels like it was made to give the middle finger to this bunch. While audiences will love it, because it is what they want from filmmakers. Pure escapist entertainment that allows them to believe that there is a team out there making the world a better place. This is a property that should have been shown on a big screen, but it will be relegated to entertaining people in their homes. Netflix gets it and maybe the studios will remember this lesson before streaming services continue to make cinemas more and more obsolete.
Reel Dialogue: Are you afraid?
This is the question that One (Reynolds) continues to ask Four (Ben Hardy) throughout the film. Specifically of his fear of death and how this inevitably can happen at any time and seemingly in random ways. What causes your greatest fears?
To allow fear to rule life is to put faith in the ‘what could be’ of life, which can lead to mental, emotional or physical paralysis for many. Fear means to focus on what may or may not happen, which even existed in people of the Bible. Moses, Gideon, Esther and more had to work through their fears.
The answer is to not focus on the ‘what could be’ of life. The key is to look to the God of the universe for solace and strength. Jesus is the one who defeated death and offers freedom from fear through his life and words. The Apostle Paul writes of this when addressing the concern of a young disciple named Timothy. Read through these words and know that they answer where we should all put our fears. The answer to fear
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Russ Matthews works for City Bible Forum as the Engaging Manager. He enjoys developing large public forums throughout the city to engage workers with the bigger questions of life. He oversees The Edge and Reel Dialogue.