By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

Love him or loathe him, Michael Bay is definitely one of America’s more biombastic and often obnoxious filmmakers. And despite his utter disregard for subtlety, he has made some highly entertaining entries in popcorn-munching cinema. Regardless of the actual quality of his works, Bay’s movies are absolutely perfect for big screen consumption. This particular “quality” makes it rather odd that his latest offering is only getting a limited theatrical release in conjunction with a Netflix availability.

That said, 6 Underground is a movie I watched at a theatrical screening and not at home. And even though the whole thing is a rather ludicrous and silly affair, I still feel that experience will be lessened by the home viewing experience. I know that certainly says something about the true value of the story, but I still had a great time munching on popcorn and witnessing Bay’s latest exercise in noisy, over-the-top insanity.

Ryan Reynolds stars as “Number 1,” an anonymous genius billionaire who run a highly skilled group of vigilantes carefully selected for their individual gifts, skills, and insanity. Having faked their deaths and eliminating all traces of their existence, the squad takes matters in their own hands and attempt to right the wrongs in the world. Their mission in the film is to start a coup in the dictator-run nation of Turgistan to replace the dictatorship with a democracy. This particularly harrowing mission not only requires the team to use their skilks to the best of their abilities, but its success also hinges on the team’s need to work together as a family.

Written by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, Bay’s new movie is by no means an example of intelligent or highly skilled storytelling. It is purely a visual feast of explosions, adrenaline-fueled action sequences and skillful editing. To be fair to the writers, I will give them credit for scripting some mostly hilarious humor that is performed mostly well by the cast members. Otherwise, 6 Underground is a dumb and ridiculous action extravaganza that can boast extraordinary stunts and boldly conceived and executed action sequences.

To the movie’s benefit, Bay and his casting director have gathered an awesome assortment of talents who seem to be having a great time despite the silliness of it all. Ryan Reynolds has the perfect comic timing and charisma for the leader of this motley crew. Melanie Laurent also gives an enjoyable turn as the steely, tough.and badass “Two.” Actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo gives a hilarious performance as agent “Three.” The rest of the crew consists of Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Dave Franco, and Corey Hawkins. All of whom perform well in their roles.

Well, there isn’t too much.more to say about this movie. For better or worse, it is pure Michael Bay fare. There is much to enjoy about this movie, but that is only after setting one’s intelligence expectations rather low.

6 Underground is currently available for viewing on Netflix and is playing in select theaters.

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