I was pleasantly surprised – as expected, it’s dark and violent, but not excessively so. Sylvester Stallone is convincing as a damaged Vietnam vet struggling to leave his past behind.
Hearing his audio commentary was interesting too – I gained a new appreciation for how much he knows about the craft of film making. He mentioned key shots where the cinematographer used natural lighting, and goofiness of certain scenes (“the goof troop”) or certain badly written or delivered lines that took a little away from the overall mood and quality of the film. He also discussed at length the tough conditions at the shoot and the dangerousness of the stunts. Off-hand mentions of broken noses, ribs, ankles, near-hypothermia… all of these don’t necessarily inspire confidence for the stunt classes I’ll be taking at Hollywood Stunts in a few weeks.
I’ve been reading legendary stuntman Vic Armstrong’s book, The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Movie Heroes, and his stories of injuries is extensive as well. Safety first!