Inferno, which is available on the Expendables Blu-ray/DVD combo pack as well as on Netflix, details Sylvester Stallone’s efforts to make the ultimate homage to 1980s action films without the support of a big studio. While the documentary does detail the process of making The Expendables pretty well, it does more to enhance Stallone’s reputation as a gifted director and screenwriter.
Some people may find the suggestion that Stallone is a great filmmaker laughable, but watching this documentary just may change your perception of the man. With so many truly incompetent action films coming out each year, it is fascinating to watch Stallone direct with a true understanding of what the audience should see.
Fans of the film will be surprised to see that some of the best action in the film was made up on the spot by Stallone, including the strafing of the dock by Jason Statham in a seaplane and Terry Crews throwing shells at helicopters. Few other directors will allow as much of the creative process to be shown, and you have to give Stallone credit for that.
Inferno director John Herzfeld also gives us an unflinching look at how Stallone’s body broke down during the film. His neck, shoulder, ankle, and other assorted parts were torn, broken, and basically showed their age. Even so, Stallone was a trooper, hanging in there to finish the film. Did he play some of it up for the cameras? Maybe, but the guy was 63 at the time of filming and broke his neck doing the movie, literally. I don’t care who you are, that’s tough.
Inferno is an excellent compliment to The Expendables and will actually make watching the movie again more interesting, given what the cast and crew went through to make it all happen. Since both films average about 90 minutes each, you could knock out both in one sitting. Just be sure to expect more back hair to have grown on your body after watching three hours of testosterone-filled greatness.
Inferno is available as a special feature on The Expendables Blu-ray and as a stand-alone feature on Netflix.