In the old days, i.e. 2017, you had to go to your local multiplex to see a Michael Bay blockbuster. You know the type of movie we’re talking about: explosions, robots, shots which last 0.003 seconds, chiseled dudes, smokin’-hot babes. (Not “men” and “women.” There are no such things as men and women in a Michael Bay movie. Only chiseled dudes and smokin’-hot babes.) Because it is currently 2019, however, we — by which we mean cinephiles to cultural pundits to guys wearing backwards baseball caps to your mom — can log onto Netflix on a Friday and voila, there’s a brand new movie from the Transformers/Bad Boys director on the streaming service, ready to entertain you, or at the very least, help you kill brain cells and a little over two hours. You do not even need to leave your couch. What a time to be alive.
Somewhere in an abandoned, heavily set-dressed airfield in the California desert, there is a sextet of “ghosts” — people presumed dead and who have left their old lives behind — that operate as a self-contained, elite global security unit. They answer to no government. They have no Christian names, answering only to generic handles (the Hitman, the C.I.A. Spook, the Skywalker) and numbers (3, 6, 4, 2). Their leader is known simply as the Billionaire (Ryan Reynolds). These men and women fly around the world to picturesque metropolitan areas and political hotspots — though they always seem to remain in an over-lit limbo you could call the “Bay area” — and fix what No. 1 refers to as the worst of the worst.
And, after losing a member during a mission in Florence, Italy, the team recruits a former military sniper (Corey Hawkins) as their No. 7 (like an all-star player’s jersey, your number is retired if you’ve bought the farm), and sets their sights on the next target. He’s a dictator who rules over the fictional country of Turgistan, and has a habit of gassing his own people and Good Samaritans who set up makeshift hospitals. So the group, armed only with a ginormous arsenal and a bottomless budget and extreme-sports skills, come up with a plan to… to… um….
[Beckons to reader]
OK, so, listen: There’s really no point describing what happens, or how, or when, or why. This is not a narrative film. This is not “cinema,” or maybe it is, who the fuck knows anymore? This is a Michael Bay movie. It’s like someone is repeatedly poking you in the parts of your brain that register mere sensation, and keeps hammering away until a line of drool drops from your downturned lip. I get it. So do you. You’re not going to watch it. Or you are going watch it, and either decry the death of all Western civilization or pump your fists in the air. It’s another lingerie catalogue sprinkled with carnage. We both know the deal here.
So, in the spirit of 6 Underground, let’s just list off a random bunch of elements, all of which factor into the movie, in what may or may or not be the order in which they appear or are referenced; like the thing itself, how you consume the ingredients is of zero consequence. The only thing that matters is that there’s a lot it, and it’s very loud. This will either drive you away or have you fumbling for the remote ASAP. So:
Guns. Ferraris. Tits. Ass. Boom. Bang. Pow. The Uffizi Gallery. Flags. Parkour. Headshots. Mélanie Laurent. Las Vegas. Luxury yachts. Dave Franco. Squealing guitars. Red Bull. Lavazza. Captain Morgan Rum. THX. More explosions. Grenades. Magnets. 8 Mile. The Middle East….
…Stubble. Doggy-style intercourse. Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. Skyscrapers. Swimming pools. Exit wounds. Rock climbing. Parisian bartenders. Thong underwear. Richard III. Laughing gas. Car crashes. High-priced escorts. Assassinations. Björn Borg. Portishead. Toddlers. Dubstep. That “whoa-whoa-whooooaaaa-whoooooooooaaaaaaaa-oooooooaaaaaa” part in popular jock-jam anthems….
…Deadpool (voiceover). Planes. Revolution. Penthouse suites. Ziplines. Welshly Arms. Skintight dresses. Neon green. Biceps. Broken glass. Bombs. Molars. Snark. Scottish accents. Incoherence. Xenophobia. Sexism. Auteurism (Vulgar). ‘Merica.
Good luck. Godspeed.