Stallone has been a household name since he gruffed his way through boxing rings and the deep jungles. Spitting out lines in a slurry yet passionate way, the action hero has become the muscles of the film industry. Surprisingly, Stallone hasn’t just been an actor, he’s been a director and a writer, earning Academy Award nominations for this skilled and tender writings on certain characters who exude masculinity. So Stallone is a stud full of surprises and is back again today with the phenomenal series where he has gathered the steroid pumped men of yesteryear (and now) to battle against enemy Mel Gibson.
But what are The Essentials for this toned man?
This film and its subsequent sequels put Stallone on the map. Thought he had previous credits in smaller roles, his game grew exceptionally when he burst into the underground boxing ring as titular character Rocky Balboa. The underdog aspect of the movie, that is now so ripe in action and sporting films, was innovative especially the shocking conclusion. With a soundtrack that truly pumps up your spirits and some amazing montage scenes (“even Rocky had a montage”) this movie packs several punches leaving you screaming “ADRIAN” as only Stallone can. It is also followed up by some of the best
The other series that Stallone is more famed for is the United States Special Agent who is immersed in the deep jungles of Vietnam. First Blood centres on the troubled and psychologically broken John Rambo who is an ex Green Beret, subsequently bullied and abused by a small town Sheriff. Woops. Rambo breaks, goes bat shit insane and starts with killing the deputy. Heading to the surrounding hills, armed with enough ammo to blow up a small country, he picks off every law enforcement officer nearby. One of Stallone’s massive hits that yet again sparked off countless sequels, this is violent and action packed.
YET ANOTHER SERIES? Yes, this time Stallone plays an ex-pat mercenary who has banded together a group of lads and muscle men to fight and explode things. With number three coming out today, it is an intensely good guilty pleasure. Look, you know what you are expecting with these movies. You’re expecting the likes of Jason Statham, Arnie and Bruce Willis to relive their best roles as well as quipping lines at each other. You’re expecting Terry Crews to steal the show as always and you are expecting bombs, punches and a lot of sweat. Is it ground breaking cinema? No. But it is essential fun.
Remember the massive fight that came out when Pixar and Dreamworks pretty much released the same movie. There was A Bug’s Life and Antz. When I was younger, I went a bit loco for the latter (but now have learnt about the secret joy of the first, dammit Disney.) Antz is a movie that has loads of famous people vocally perform as Antz. The main star is Z who learns that the weakling workers of the colony are victims of a vicious plan so the army ants can rise. Z, who has fallen for the Princess is the only bug willing to take a stand. Stallone voices tough ant Weaver who is best friends with Woody Allen’s Z (yes you read that right.) It’s fun. Quaint and enjoyable.
Stallone and Wesley Snipes may be reunited for the latest The Expendables 3 trailer, it was in this 1993 sci-fi action flick that is better than average. Naturally. One of the most famous cops, John Spartan (Stallone) is in hot pursuit of psychopath Simon Phoenix ( a peroxide blonde Snipes.) Phoenix is a nasty bastard who kills when his mood swings and even hostages when captured. Both men are frozen. Flash forward to 2032, set in San Angeles, a megalopolis run by Taco Bell, Phoenix is melted for an assassination but ends up on a murder rampage. Spartan is subsequently unfrozen so hunt him down. Fun, campy and insane, Demolition man is incredible fun.