Sylvester Stallone has more or less admitted that his days of being an action hero are over after confirming that he will no longer be playing the iconic John Rambo ever again. On the UK chat show, The Jonathan Ross Show, he also stated that he plans to act in movies that have a stronger dramatic theme.
The 69 year old actor, who is born from Italian heritage, won a Golden Globe award for his latest movie, Creed, a spinoff to his hit boxing themed movie series, Rocky. He has also been nominated for an Oscar award for Best Supporting Actor for the same picture. Stallone has had an illustrious career so far, and it will be interesting to see how it continues from here.
Although it is strongly believed that both his career and his acting ability is one dimensional, let’s examine those claims by delving into some of his best work to see if that holds up to scrutiny.
The one that started it all, Rocky has a heavy historical making of process that almost saw Stallone never get to play the title character! The Rocky films have been heavily parodied throughout the years, and one would be forgiven for mostly referring to the unrealistic fight sequences to come to the conclusion that the Rocky movies, especially the sequels, are nothing but cheesy B-fiction. But the original installment had a substantial dramatic approach that was mainly character driven. The fight scenes at the end were narratively told with a highlight effect with the exception of the first and last rounds. It was really only from the third film on that things started to go toward the route of fantastical, as even the first sequel contained many elements that the first picture employed.
Copland was sadly the start of Stallone’s 1990’s demise, and it was unjustifiably so. You have to give credit where it’s due when an actor, mainly known for playing peripheral characters, dips his toe in deeper waters. Copland is a relatively indeterminate film about police corruption in New Jersey. Stallone plays half deaf sheriff, Freddy Heflin. Instead of seemingly infinite shootouts and car chases, Copland is a dramatic thriller that takes its time to unfold. But sadly for Sly, the film sunk and has disappeared without much of a vocal recalling from anybody. That is a shame, but that goes to show the extensive damage that stereotyping can achieve. Do your best to seek this one out should you be in the least bit curious!
This road tunnel disaster movie was released in 1996 and was probably the last great action film that Stallone acted in that decade before roaring back ten years later with Rambo in 2008. Kit Latura is a former fire commander who was once involved in a rescue attempt that went tragically wrong. When a tunnel in New York City collapses and attempts to persuade the authorities that he should be involved doesn’t materialise, he sets about going it alone to search for any survivors and getting them out. Daylight’s narrative always made sure that the action scenes had their consequences for the characters involved, some really serious in particular. But being a disaster picture, one should expect that. It is a little more serious than what Sylvester had done up to that point, possibly with the exception of the 1980’s film, Over The Top due to that film’s own main theme of what a devoted father would do to get rightful custody of his son. Right up until the end, you never know whether Kit will ever make it out alive with the rest of them! Daylight is one of those movies you watch every time it shows on television.
Okay, so the author here admittedly thought that the new Rocky spinoff was rather dry and could not connect with the film’s main protagonist. But there must be a reason why Stallone was nominated for an Oscar and has already won a Golden Globe award for it! Being mindful to not include any spoilers due to Creed’s still current release, the character of Rocky Balboa has to fight a battle that is a lot different to what he has faced before, all the while training the son of his former nemesis, Apollo Creed. Sometimes there was a feeling of Deja Vu when watching this movie, and memories of Rocky V may come to the minds of a few, but Creed was still different enough to separate itself in particular from the creative camp feeling of Rocky III and Rocky IV and is more in line with Rocky Balboa and the first two installments. Creed 2 is set for a 2017 release with Stallone again taking a close back seat.