6 Underground - not to be confused with an awesome song from 90s electronica outfit Sneaker Pimps - isn’t an especially good film. It’s directed by Michael Bay and is packed full of the 54-year-old’s signature moments.
We’re talking ridiculous stunts, cheesy dialogue, and extremely pervy shots of ladies in tight dresses that make it seem like Bay has the mind of a horny teenager. It has stylized freeze-frame character introductions as though they didn’t stop being cool in 2003, and some of the most blatant product placement ever committed to film. Even star Ryan Reynold’s gin gets a plug, for Pete’s sake.
It was afforded one of the highest budgets of any Netflix film, which Bay seems to have mostly spent on blowing stuff up. But don’t let that put you off.
Not just because if you switch your brain off, it is in parts quite enjoyable. No - it’s worth a watch for the opening car chase alone. It’s quite long, very silly, and is chock full of an eclectic mix of super saloons.
The starring role goes to a lime green Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (again, some pretty shameless product placement), which - like many movie stunt cars - has a hydraulic handbrake. Only here, it’s made part of the scene, with Dave Franco actually filmed yanking the thing before each lurid handbrake shot. Great news for any boorish, pedantic petrolhead (like me) that knows such manoeuvres aren’t possible with the Giulia’s standard electronic parking brake.
What’s arguably more interesting is the non-product-placed sports saloons cars that are giving chase. There’s an E60 M5, a fifth-gen Maserati Quattroporte (yep, the prettiest one that has a naturally-aspirated V8), an orange Subaru WRX STI, and even a W204 Mercedes-AMG C63. OK, the last one is a wagon, but hey, it sort of counts. The cars - in parts, at least - make the right noises, too.
It’s also worth noting that one of the stunt drivers at the wheel of the Giulia was Norwegian Formula Drift legend Fredric Aasbo. That explains the high quantity of bonkers sideways shots.
The film is available to stream on Netflix now and has been released in a limited number of theatres.