The best of Stallone
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 22:10
It’s hard to remember that Sylvester Stallone, whose career began in pornography, has been nominated for Oscars in acting and writing. This is mainly because the majority of his filmography is filled with absolute garbage. Rather than writing the good, thrilling and dramatic character-driven dramas he is capable of, Stallone has preferred mostly to create ridiculous action movies and show off his muscles. His age has not stopped him in the least bit. Nonetheless, Stallone has done a few good, and even great movies, and while this week’s “Escape Plan” will most likely to be another entry to his list of ridiculous action films, perhaps one of these films I have chosen to discuss will remind you that he can do good things.
“Rocky” Franchise: The original “Rocky” is an outstanding, inspiring and Best Picture-winning classic. It didn’t really demand or need a sequel, but as Stallone would do throughout his career and continue to do today, he made it anyways. The first three were great. The most recent one was good. The two in between were unspeakable. Did Rocky fight the steroid-using Russian giant for any other reason than to cash in on the Cold War sentiments at the time? Don’t even get me started on that “Tommy gun” nonsense. But I digress. “Rocky” made Stallone’s career and for a time convinced us that he was a great actor.
“Rambo”: “First Blood” was also a classic, but Stallone doesn’t realize that not every film needs a sequel. The second and third installments were about as nonsensical as action movies come. The most recent one was actually pretty good. It was a bit gratuitous with the violence and a bit absurd, but it worked in a fun action movie kind of way. Stallone defended the violence by claiming it drew attention to the war crimes committed in Burma at the time of the film’s release. While somewhat true, it felt a bit more exploitative than humanitarian. See what Stallone does? I liked this movie and I’m still criticizing it due to all the bad ones I can’t forget.
“Cliffhanger”: This is one of those overlooked action film gems. “Cliffhanger” was an intense, violent and gripping thriller. Set in the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, both criminals and law enforcement search for suitcases full of cash dropped in an air heist gone wrong. Stallone has done a lot of action movies, but this is one of the few good ones. It’s not your typical Stallone action movie, and I mean that in a good way.
“Cop Land”: Stallone gives one his best performances in another overlooked 90s gem. Focusing more on drama and characters than action, “Cop Land” tells the story of a New Jersey sheriff who runs a small town mostly populated with corrupt New York City cops. Stallone’s sheriff respects these men as he can never be one due to an ear disability he acquired on the job. The sheriff eventually discovers the officers involved in a murder cover up. Stallone manages to lead well against a great supporting cast of Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, Michael Rapaport and Robert Patrick. Filled with plenty of suspense, action, drama and mystery, this a must for any crime film fan.