Home » Documentary » Sly (2023) Movie Review – A heartfelt profile of a Hollywood legend

Sly (2023) Movie Review – A heartfelt profile of a Hollywood legend

Stallone gets the documentary treatment

The golden days of action movie stars are long gone, with the larger-than-life stars of the ’80s and ’90s finally reflecting on their extraordinary careers, and Netflix seems to be the place where they go to tell their stories. Sylvester Stallone is the latest -star to get the profile treatment in Sly.

This follows on from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s stunning three part documentary earlier this year, and Stallone’s old nemesis turned close friend makes an appearance to discuss the rivalry between them in this film. The documentary also features fantastic insights from Quentin Tarantino and Henry Winkler, who helped Sly at the start of his career. 

Of course, the larger-than-life subject of the film features heavily as well, as Sly takes us through his career from the early days of Rocky, and the struggle to make a name for himself in Hollywood, to his rise to the top of the box office charts with films like Rambo. It’s fascinating hearing about how hard he worked to achieve his dream after coming from a troubled background, with an abusive father. He details how physical his father was with him, but how this toughened him up and prepared him for the cutthroat world of Hollywood.

The documentary is just over 90 minutes long, and it feels like it could have run a bit longer to cover his Hollywood heyday in more depth. But less is more sometimes, and Sly definitely leaves the audience wanting a lot more. 

One of the highlights of the whole film is a story about how Stallone was cast in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, told by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It sums up the lengths these two action stars went to in order to be top dog in Hollywood.

In short, this is a must-watch documentary for anyone who loves Hollywood and old school movie stars. Sly is also a surprisingly moving and gripping story of a man who had a dream and did everything in his power to achieve it.  

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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