Ryan Reynolds' New 6 Underground Movie Doesn't Seem To Be Going To Theaters, And That Sucks

6 Underground Ryan Reynolds pointing angrily out the car window during a chase

Out of nowhere, the trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ big Netflix launch, 6 Underground, rocked the internet with its debut. After watching it a handful of times, and really drinking in the return of director Michael Bay to the non-franchise action world, I have to say this looks like something I’d pay to see in a theater on opening weekend. The only problem is that it doesn’t look like 6 Underground will be in theaters, and that sucks.

This could change, as the film has “not yet been rated,” according to said trailer. But even so, you’d think Netflix would have specified in the trailer that 6 Underground could be seen in theaters on a certain date, with a streaming debut listed as a follow-up? I'll get into the specific reasons why a lack of theatrical release support is not so cool, but before that, get a look at the action I’m talking about in the 6 Underground trailer, provided below.

Looks fantastic, doesn’t it? A return to some old school Michael Bay excitement, eh? Here’s why I think not releasing this movie into theaters is a bad and sad idea.

6 Underground two armed people, wearing masks, in an elevator

The Budget To 6 Underground Is The Type That Needs Theatrical Support

6 Underground is a pretty expensively-made movie, especially in an era where Netflix is trying to spend more prudently on its projects. Yes, this movie could be a theoretical crusher when it debuts on their streaming platform the weekend of December 13; that is without question. But if the studio wants to start making more of a profit on huge $150 million movies like this, it needs to release this sort of product into theaters.

Netflix’s subscriber base is a wide-spanning monster, and there’s definitely a formula it has in place to see how much a movie like this would make on opening weekend. We’ve seen those numbers flying around with everything from The Christmas Chronicles to even Murder Mystery. But wouldn’t it be awesome to have 6 Underground win crowds in theaters, and then go on to also crush it at home?

6 Underground a person falling out of a window, thanks to runaway water

6 Underground Already Looks Like A New Action Favorite In The Making

Most action movies look like they’re only good for one watch, maybe two, and then are easily discarded. But any fan of material from the peak of the action genre will tell you that some movies stick with you and allow repeat viewings. Michael Bay would know something about that himself, as The Rock, Bad Boys and even some of the Transformers films have their fans who could watch those movies any day of the week. 6 Underground looks like it’s the next masterpiece of Bayhem to have that distinction.

It’s too early to call it with certainty, and I know it’s adrenaline and coffee talking. But when I see the action and the humor unfolding with 6 Underground in this tightly packaged trailer, I can’t help but think that this could be one of those movies that gets into heavy rotation. That’s especially true when you realize it’s going to be a part of the Netflix library. Of course, action is just one of the components that make this particular project look crazy as hell to watch.

6 Underground Ryan Reynolds worn out next to Adria Arjona

Ryan Reynolds And His Co-Stars Know How To Draw An Audience

When your movie has Ryan Reynolds and a cast of all-stars that make up one hell of a fighting squad, it feels primed to be on the big screen. 6 Underground sees our mighty Deadpool not only reteaming with the franchise’s writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, but it also has him heading up a pretty fantastic cast squad. Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins, Adria Arjona, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Dave Franco are all part of the 6 Underground magic, and if that’s not a group that’d bring audiences to the theater, I don’t know what is.

Actually, that’s totally a group that’d draw crowds to see this film, and you can see it in their interactions together in the 6 Underground trailer. Through car chases, explosions, shoot-outs and anything else this first look has to offer, Ryan Reynolds and company deliver the sort of camaraderie you’d see in classic Michael Bay action scripts.

6 Underground a gigantic explosion with a car riding above it all

The Scope Of Michael Bay’s Filmmaking Belongs On A Gigantic Screen

Michael Bay isn’t a man who shoots for television. With a past that’s seen him use the IMAX format to great effect, as well as just subject matter that screams to be watched on as big a screen as possible, 6 Underground is another reminder of where Bay’s talents should be seen: on as big of a canvas as possible.

Notice his trademark panning shots of gorgeous, modern cityscapes, as well as Michael Bay’s penchant to use as big of an image as possible to convey the action that finds its way into 6 Underground’s fast paced narrative. The man knows how to make a splash on the screen, and no matter the story being told, the look and feel of a Michael Bay film always belongs on the silver screen rather than the small one.

6 Underground Manuel Garcia-Rulfo screaming in a car flip

Even The Sound Quality Of 6 Underground Needs A Theatrical Edge

Explosions, gun fights, car chases: they’re all are things that 6 Underground has, and they need to be seen as large as possible. However, those aspects also need to be heard in the best quality possible. It sounds weird, I know, but if you have a movie with a lot of gunfire, the sound quality of said firearms can add to the atmosphere of any scene.

Michael Bay has worked with this sort of sonic tableau before, and much like his images, his aural landscape needs to be heard on as big of a platform as possible. If there was a way to see 6 Underground in a limited IMAX platform release, you could bet that audiences would more than likely flock to it after seeing that trailer. But even if this movie could just be seen on a traditional screen, with a really good sound system, that would be a blessing in and of itself as well.

6 Underground the six walking together into frame

6 Underground Feels Like It Needs To Be Seen With A Crowd

All of this conversation dances around the fact that while 6 Underground needs to be seen in a theater, it also needs to be seen in a crowd. Theatrical events like this are the sort that you used to have to line up with a mob of strangers to see, at which point you’d all be reacting to the same big moments on screen. It’s the stuff that memories of films like Bad Boys are made from, and one that has resurrected that franchise, albeit without Michael Bay’s action hand at work.

But 6 Underground has Bay in the mix, as well as Ryan Reynolds and an insane cast of talent, and the sensory overload that needs to be shared in a theatrical setting. It also needs to be seen with a crowd, as the hype of everyone in the room just intensifies how much the stuff on the screen is hitting. And if that trailer has shown us even a fraction of what this movie is supposed to deliver, then this movie just jumped onto the must see list.

There’s still time for 6 Underground to make an announcement involving a surprise theatrical release, so there could still be hope after all. But as it stands, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be on the big screen when it debuts close to the end of the year, and even if it does, it’ll probably be an extremely limited affair. It’d be worth it though, as thrills this fast and explosive should have their chance to shine in a theater near you.

6 Underground hits Netflix on December 13, and if you’re curious as to what’s headed to Netflix in the next month, check out our total rundown of incoming titles for October.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.