6 Underground’s ghosts aren’t eerie at all
SEOUL, South Korea – The power of a ghost is to be able to haunt the living “for what they’ve done.” And the best part of being dead, according to Ryan Reynolds, as One in the new Michael Bay/Netflix original film, 6 Underground, is the “freedom to fight the injustice and evil that lurk in our world without anyone or anything to slow you down or tell you ‘no’.”
This is how One, a billionaire and inventor who gets disillusioned by the world, explains the persona of the vigilante team he has assembled to take down a despotic and heartless ruler, played by the awesome Israeli actor, Lior Raz, as president of the fictional country, Turgistan.
The premise got us excited. We prepared ourselves for the explosive and over the top trademark Bay action, but the idea of having figurative ghosts as action heroes brought new expectations from the movie which began streaming on Netflix on Friday, December 13.
Each team member had lived troubled lives, which was why faking their deaths became a way out, allowing them to redeem themselves by doing something good for other people. Their fake deaths are convincing that one of them witnesses his own family bury him 6 feet under. They “resurrect” untraceable and without an identity because even their digital footprints are erased.
They are called by number in the team. No names to reinforce their anonymity. Their individual skills that are necessary in the success of their mission are what characterizes each one of them.
Halfway through the film, however, we found ourselves having so many questions about the team members. (Ironically, we watched it in Korea where dramas and movies are known for their character development.)
Nonetheless, the redemption of these ghosts comes in the form of splendid acting by the diverse and global cast. For them and Bay’s “most insane action yet” (in Netflix’s own words), 6 Underground is worth watching.
Ryan Reynolds combines humor and smarts as One; Mélanie Laurent (Two) and Adria Arjona (Five) are the epitome of cool and deadly; Manuel Garcia-Rulfo (Three) is the endearing hit man; Ben Hardy (Four) is the fearless parkour master who’s always willing to die – but no one in the team lets him; Dave Franco (Six) is the skillful driver who gets the team out of danger but pays the ultimate price for it; and Corey Hawkins (Seven), is the soldier who encourages all of them to live even after their fake deaths.
At the 6 Underground world premier, we got to ask Ryan what makes humor an essential part of an action movie:
“I think it’s essential.... If you add a little bit of humor it allows the audience to sort of invest but not feel like the stakes are so high that they have to be on the edge of their seat. I don’t know…. Humor is important in everything."
The luminous Laurent talked to us about women being action heroes:
“Because we’ve just had so many movies with men for so many years with like cold guys, super cool and sexy. I think the new hero is like, my character is not just sad and cold. She’s gonna evolving. She’s gonna fall in love, she’s gonna smile at some point, and that’s something new,” he said.
Here’s a Netflix guide to the heroes of 6 Underground:
One (Ryan Reynolds)
His invention involving magnets made him a very wealthy man. Adamant, strategic, and a wisecrack, his weapon in the movie is his brains and his money. He’s able to build weapons like his CZ Scorpion Evo gun, which is entirely made of plastic. Watch out for the magnets. They bring a different kind of blood and gore to this action film.
Two (Mélanie Laurent)
She’s a former CIA operative with some serious scores to settle. She’s focused, strong, and stoic. Two never buckles under pressure and isn’t squeamish. As an agent, she’s an expert with guns, knives, and almost any kind of weapon. She’s also excellent at hand-to-hand combat. She’s got an extremely high tolerance for pain, which you’ll see early in the movie.
Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo)
If there’s a sensitive and naïve assassin, that’s Three. He’s haunted by memories of his hits, especially one with a very young witness. He tries to make up for his brutality by doing good things and being attentive to his sick mother. And he also falls in love. As a hitman, Three’s favorite toys are a Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Snubby, a Glock 18, and an FN Five-seven pistol. If it comes to fisticuffs, he uses his bare hands to inflict instant and brutal pain.
Four (Ben Hardy)
Four is a gravity-defying parkour master. No building is too high for him, no obstacle too tricky to get out from. He is fearless, raw, and primal. His weapon of choice is his own body. Four can outrun, outjump, and outclimb anyone trying to chase him. He’s a good shot with a grenade launcher and grappling hook gun, too.
Five (Adria Arjona)
As a doctor, Five can literally stitch up a badly wounded teammate in any tight situation. She’s manipulative, intimidating, and sassy but also selfless. Five can perform surgery while inside a car that’s going 100 miles per hour. Though not skilled with guns, Five weaponizes her medical know-how in order to help take out the bad guys.
Six (Dave Franco)
Six is an adventurous driver specialist who loves a good challenge. Youthful, neurotic, and playful, Six is super-awesome at drifting and doing donuts. He can drive a stick shift really fast and with accuracy even in narrow streets and with a lot of obstacles. Six is a showoff in a souped-up, tricked out neon green Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio. This muscle car has a 2.9L V6 Turbo engine with 505 Horsepower. If not for the screaming color, this car is a blurry getaway ride when Six is behind the wheel.
Seven (Corey Hawkins)
He was a Delta Force soldier who felt deep guilt that he had survived a war but his comrades were killed. Hawkins describes his character as having an “alpha personality who’s used to taking control of situations.” He is a sniper who “can hit shots miles away”, thus his special skill is weapons training. In the film, he is the only one who gets to witness his own funeral.