A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 6 Underground is an adventure film that introduces six characters who've gone off the grid (presumed dead) as they unite and take on an evil dictator from a Middle Eastern country. That's the story, but that's not what the movie is about. It's about action, a "stunt reel" from start to finish, including one very long car chase that almost destroys a city's downtown hub, including its pedestrians, buildings, and its entire infrastructure. And that's before we know who anyone is. Viewers can expect countless deaths of participants and innocent bystanders. Characters are shot (by machine guns and conventional weapons), run over, plummet to the ground, killed in vehicle accidents. Blood is everywhere -- it spurts, it pours, it emerges from heads, mouths, and wounds; a dripping eyeball takes center stage for a lengthy sequence. Language is coarse, with "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "pr--k," and a reference to masturbation. Sexual activity occurs in several scenes (one sequence between caring strangers, others are fast and crude). There's some social drinking (wine, beer, rum); no drunkenness. Not for kids or the squeamish.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
One (Ryan Reynolds), mysteriously described as "The Billionaire," amasses a team of experts and skilled daredevils to stop a ruthless dictator in 6 UNDERGROUND. Known only by their numbers -- Two (Melanie Laurent) is a CIA agent; Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), the hitman; Four (Adria Arjona), the doctor; Five (Ben Hardy), the skywalker, an intrepid parkour master; Six (Dave Franco), the driver; and finally Seven (Corey Hawkins), the soldier. The one thing they have in common -- they're all ghosts. Each is presumed dead. Their overall mission? To rid the world of evil-doers, specifically in this film a Middle Eastern tyrant whose good-guy brother is standing by to take his place.
Is it any good?
Michael Bay creates a new brand with rhythm to it: crash, boom, bullet through head, followed by a one-liner, a profundity, then walks off into the sunset ready for Sequels 1-5. Action fans will love it. There's plenty of "how did they do that?" and it's deserved, though sometimes hard to follow because the human editing hasn't quite caught up with the tech. All the performances are fine; the actors have very little to play and there's no need for subtlety. As the leader, Ryan Reynolds may be this generation's Bruce Willis, only nicer, without the snark, and with deep thoughts about how freeing death can be. But if viewers are looking for a story with any nuance at all, or inventive characters and relationships, leave 6 Underground to those who are happy to watch buildings shatter and "skywalkers" who defy man's limitations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violence in 6 Underground. How much is too much? Was it exciting? Funny? Offensive? Why is it important to be aware of the impact of media violence on kids?
How do filmmakers and writers decide upon a villain? In the '40s, villains were Nazis; in the '50s-'80s they were Russian; present day, most are Middle Eastern. Movies then reinforce our attitudes and feelings about certain groups. Is this a positive or negative thing? Why?
Though the ending resolved the movie's story, how did the filmmakers indicate that we may see/hear more from the 6 Underground characters? What do you think will determine whether or not there's a sequel or sequels in the future?
- On DVD or streaming: December 13, 2019
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Melanie Laurent, Manuel García Rulfo
- Director: Michael Bay
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Adventures, Friendship
- Run time: 127 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence and language throughout, bloody images and some sexual content
- Last updated: December 19, 2019
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