Sylvester Stallone gets a short, but strong doc.
“Sly” is the made-for-Netflix documentary on Sylvester Stallone. Yes, that right. The Rocky Balboa, Rambo, Barney Ross, and Sly Sylvester Stallone. He’s often been asked if he was getting too old to keep up his action movie greatness, but even through his injuries, he’s been able to push forward. He can’t give up, and won’t give up. That’s how persistent he is as an actor.
He’s the kind of actor who wanted to be a hero like Steve Reeves in “Hercules.” A strong, muscular, and charming hero. And he wanted to live up to his expectations.
He was also a movie theater usher, who would record dialogue and soundtracks as inspiration for his screenplays, an avid movie goer, who would sneak into theaters with his friends, and a writer, who had big ideas on how to jumpstart his acting career.
Acting in and writing “Rocky” has given Stallone his recognition. And that also applies for how he entered the action genre with “First Blood.” His dialogue and narrative really brings out some of his best qualities, and has been hailed by critics and fans for generations.
Stallone, who was last seen unfortunately in “Expend4bles,” is able to tell his own story with humanity and truth. Even though this doc is short (running at 98 minutes), and fans deserve more of his story, it still delivers with the nostalgia and complexity within his life and movie career. It’s about what made Stallone who he is, and why he does what he does.
You even get some insight from his competitor and future “Expendables” co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who talks about what really makes a big action movie with a hero that people can identify with or want to. These are two of the biggest action stars in the world, and it makes sense that we hear Stallone’s story from different perspectives.
It’s also important that Stallone talks about his family, and what they have done. His father Frank Stallone, Sr. served in WWII, his brother Frank Jr. has written songs for his movies, and his deceased son Sage was the basis for Rocky Balboa, Jr. in “Rocky V.” And it is became personal to him, when critics didn’t always praise his films (like how “Rocky V” and “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot” were loathed by them). But that didn’t mean he couldn’t transition to different genres as an actor. It all depends on how his physicality comes into himself and his work. It’s all about versatility.
“Sly” is something for Stallone fans, who should acknowledge that he is a human being with real emotions and challenges. He even closes the movie by saying he’s not ready to go out, even if we have to see a clip from the awful sequel “Rambo: Last Blood.” Give this doc a go.
Streaming on Netflix
This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA strike.