5 Questions: Inferno (1997)
Don “The Dragon” Wilson has been in the action movie game for a long time now. Over the years I’ve seen quite a few of The Dragon’s movie exploits. I’ve seen Don “The Dragon” Wilson do battle in the United States, Manila, Colombia, Gotham City, remote private islands, Canada and even in the virtual realm, but I had never seen a Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie take place in India.
That is until I watched the 1997 movie Inferno or as it is also known, Operation Cobra. I would like to point out that neither of those titles make much sense. There are two scenes with cobras in them (Wilson even shoots one) but at no point is Wilson’s mission or the evil plot of the villains referred to as Operation Cobra. Of course, Inferno is about as generic of a title as you can get and while I do question why that is the title of this movie, I had more pressing questions to ask…
1. Is anybody buying Don “The Dragon” Wilson as the ultimate ladies man?
I will never dispute Don “The Dragon” Wilson’s kickboxing abilities or martial arts skills. But I was not buying that his character Kyle Connors in Inferno was some sort of James Bondesque ladies man. Connors had the woman at the front desk of the hotel sneak into his room and wait for him in his bed. Then there was the agent from MI6, who also threw herself at Connors. And last and certainly not least was the lovely Shalimar… she apparently wanted him Connors so badly, that the two couldn’t wait to go back to Connors’ hotel room instead they get it on in a public fountain. It all seemed a bit too far fetched for me.
2. Who is the main villain of this movie?
Now this is a question that the movie wants the audience to ask as the story unfolds. At first it appears that Evan Lurie’s character Johan Davaad is the main villain. After all, he is responsible for the death of Kyle Connors’ long time partner and best friend, Trevor. But we later find that Davaad is just the muscle for the real main villain of the film (a role Lurie is much more suited for). Then it seems as if Michael Cavanaugh’s character Victor Grayson is the main villain. After all, he has goons going after the lovely Shalimar (Dipti Bhatnagar). But we later find out that Grayson was being an overprotective father and not some evil mastermind. So if the main villain isn’t someone we’d expect, it has to be the person we least suspect, right?
3. Were the computer scientists bulletproof?
At one point, after the computer scientists have outlived their usefulness to the bad guys, they are gunned down at point blank range with an automatic weapon. This scene may have contained some of the worst movie deaths I have ever seen. Even a dog can play dead! Come on people! But even worse is one of the computer scientists some how is still alive when the good guys show up after the fact. Did he have a bulletproof pocket protector over his heart? Or did they just need to keep him alive in the script (no matter how unlikely it would have been) so he could give our heroes a key piece of information?
4. Where was the sadness and sorrow for Ravi?
I’m well aware that Kyle Connors had already lost one partner in the line of the duty. And I’m also aware that he did not know Inspector Ravi (played by Madhavan in his feature film debut) all that well. But after Ravi is killed by Johan Davaad, it seems to barely phase Connors. It was Paul Kersey walking away from the burning corpse of Katherine Davis in Death Wish 3 level of emotional disconnect. Ravi lied to his superiors so Connors could stay in India and get his revenge on Davaad. He also was killed while helping Connors. But cold hearted Connors doesn’t even blink. For shame Kyle Connors. An interesting side note, Madhavan would go on to become one of India’s biggest stars. I saw the star potential in Madhavan after the way he sold the nut shot from Shalimar. I’ve never seen anyone sell a nut shot as well or for as long as Madhavan did.
5. Isn’t this an odd place for a sex scene?
Right before the movie wraps up, we get to see the main villain get it on with his main villainess. So at the point of the movie where we should be getting ready to see this guy get his comeuppance, we instead get to see him having a good time!?? That goes against Action Movie 101. And not only was this scene ill placed, it was also one of the worst edited sex scenes I’ve ever seen. Clothes were reappearing after they had been removed. Also, where was that wind coming from?!?!