Deadpool sans suit

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By Sanuj Hathurusinghe

While I was lazily browsing through Netflix on one Sunday evening trying to find something interesting to watch, I came across the 2019 film 6 Underground featuring Ryan Reynolds. Since I have a soft spot for Reynolds despite how bad an actor he is and since I didn’t have anything better to do, I decided to give the movie a shot. 

Mind you I straight jumped into the movie knowing nothing about the cast or genre or even the story. During the opening scene Reynolds’ character (One) describes how one can become a ghost and what he or she can do afterwards. This gave some serious R.I.P.D. vibes which also is a Reynolds movie. However, the action-packed car chase scene which quickly followed made me realise the ‘existential crisis’ One had in the beginning is just a smokescreen and the movie doesn’t really have any supernatural element to it. Instead, it was just another action/comedy/thriller featuring Reynolds, basically Deadpool without the mask and the regeneration. 

The movie is about One, a billionaire who fakes his own death to secretly work towards making the world a better place. He recruits likeminded individuals by faking their deaths too and the group tries to cleanse the world by getting rid of one bad apple of a person at a time. In this movie, they try to overthrow an evil warlord and try to bring democracy to the country by making the evil warlord’s good brother the leader of the country. 

The movie is an action comedy with a bit of blood, gore, and profanity. Since it is Reynolds who plays the lead there is only so much you can expect in the acting department. Either Reynolds cannot act to save his life or he actually can act but has decided to be the same person in every movie just because it makes his job much easier. It is just like how Dwayne Johnson plays the same character in every movie he plays, only difference being Reynolds is much more charismatic and much less annoying.  The movie is boringly long and has a lot of plot holes and loose ends. For example, how exactly did One become a billionaire? How is he accessing his wealth if he is officially dead? How is it that One becomes an action hero only when it is convenient and plays the nerd for the rest of the movie? And why does almost every car crash in the movie explode or burst into flames?

The last question was answered as I got to know the director of the movie is Michael Bay – the blowing up expert in Hollywood. However, the other questions remain unanswered and judging by how the movie ended, it is unlikely that a sequel tying all the loose ends will be released any time soon. 

The trick to enjoying 6 Underground is to leave your thinking cap behind when going to watch this movie. It is a movie filled with mindless action, cliché jokes, and some below-par acting. Nevertheless, all these shortcomings sort of become obsolete or irrelevant because from time to time, the movie comes up with something or the other to keep you from looking at your watch, in the manner of a witty dialogue or a mind-blowing action sequence. 

Even with that, I still thought the movie was pretty long. It runs over two hours but everything could have been wrapped up within 90 minutes. Perhaps the director took liberty in including as many pointless action scenes as possible since the movie was a big-budget Netflix movie. 

The editing is also horrible. During the first car chase scene the scratches on the green Alfa Romeo appear and disappear from scene to scene and on some occasions the car explosion happened before the collision.

If you are a fan of sub-par action and Reynolds’s unique sense of humour, finishing a few popcorn cups while watching this movie won’t be a problem to you because this is a one fine example of a popcorn flick. The plot is interesting just enough to keep you hooked to the story for the duration of the movie but not beyond that. It was fun while it lasted but became forgettable once the credits started rolling. It is as if Bay and Reynolds didn’t make any effort to make the movie any better but hoped that their reputation and popularity would carry the movie. It may have carried the movie a bit but definitely not as far as both the creators and the viewers hoped it would.