#3. Sly Shows Off His "Demolitioning" Skills
It should be obvious by now that Stallone can really play the renegade cop role to stone-faced perfection. But by 1993, audiences were bored with seeing the same hard-nosed law enforcing character from Sly. Thus, Demolition Man was born. Yes, Stallone stars as a rebellious cop who plays by his own rules, but this time in the future ... with Wesley Snipes.
In the future, the letter E will look retarded.
Demolition Man tells the story of a beret-wearing cop and a madman who are frozen and then thawed out years later to take the "non" out of the non-violent future city of San Angeles. Though the city appears to be a utopian society that has long-since abandoned its seedy past, there are still a peculiar amount of guns and ammunition that are readily available. And Stallone and Snipes utilize damn-near every single bullet in the future. Also, Snipes kind of looks like Grace Jones.
Maybe a touch less terrifying.
One might be tempted to use words and phrases like fish out of water, ex cop, enemy, bare butt, and psychopath to describe this film. After all, those are the keywords that IMDb uses, but no one word can encapsulate the final climactic battle between John Spartan (Stallone) and Simon Phoenix (Snipes).
The futuristic cryogenics lab utilizes a giant crane game for some reason. Sly sneaks in, completely oblivious to the arcade-like torture device dangling just overhead. Rocky and Blade have a full-fledged showdown in the lab, and Stallone actually dives through the air whilst firing duel pistols. After gaining the upper hand, Phoenix in a truly Bond-villainesque move, refuses to kill Sly when he has the chance, opting instead to demean him with vaguely racist put-downs ("I'll fry your ass like a chicken!").
Stallone repays this (confusing) hate speech by flexing his way out of the crane and, upholding the duties of his badge, brings Snipes to justice ... Stallone style. And by that we mean he kicks Wesley Snipes's motherfucking head off his shoulders.
Also, Snipes is frozen.
#2. Stallone Dominates the Seedy Underground ... Arm Wrestling Circuit?
Never before, in the history of cinema, has a movie's title so accurately described the plot.
Or the poster.
Based on the poster, you might think that the movie is about a gigantic, somewhat annoyed and extremely well-oiled Stallone patrolling the country with his eagle sidekick, crushing cars and causing chaos wherever he goes. While that movie would be amazing and undoubtedly destroy box office records, this is not that film.
He is well lubricated, but Stallone portrays a down-on-his-luck truck driver who, following the death of his wife, sets about trying to reconcile with his estranged son. As you might expect, the kid isn't pumped about having a deadbeat truck driver for a dad. That is, until he finds out that Stallone is one fan-fucking-tastic arm wrestler. Somehow, through winning an arm wrestling tournament, Stallone wins both the respect from and custody of his son.
... and this sweet ass trophy.
This clip really displays several elements of Stalloneyness. First we are treated to astounding violence when Lincoln Hawk (Sly) pushes a man through some very nice French doors, at the very least severely injuring his victim. Then we see a series of overconfident, and overweight antagonists. Inexplicably, one man uses a strange analogy ("I'm going through you like gas through a funnel") and drinks a quart of motor oil which we assume could only hurt his chances.
Slightly racist, totally delicious!
Then to the roar of hundreds of bicep hungry fans, Stallone's bottom lip finds depths previously thought unreachable by science as he beats two opponents and advances to the finals. It should be noted that Stallone only entered the tournament to show what a good father he could be, but while it's going on, his unsupervised child travels the streets of Las Vegas without him. Hey, that's life, kid. When your dad is Stallone, anyway.
Stallone's son is named Michael "Mike" Hawk, which, when spoken aloud (especially in the flubbering lips of Sly) might sound, to some immature Internet comedians, a lot like "my cock."
#1. John Rambo, the whole damn thing
John Rambo is the modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing [Citation Needed].
"...and removed thou head with a machete."
Stallone's most beloved role, apart from Rocky Balboa, is the clearly unstable Vietnam veteran, John J. Rambo. Until 2008, the Rambo series was considered, by many, to be the greatest trilogy in cinema history. When John Rambo hit the screen in 2008, it became the best quadrilogy.
Although in his 60s, Stallone pulled triple duty as the film's director, writer and of course star. Sly really brought everything he had to the role: a chemically enhanced muscle-bound body, a face that resembled one of the melted Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark and a passionless, exuberant bloodlust.
Stallone with and without makeup.
The thing about John Rambo, a.k.a. Rambo IV is that there is no clear line between Sly's finest moments. The whole fucking movie is just one 90-minute long Stalloney moment. This video shows just a fraction of the glorious, PTS-inspired violence that made Rambo an instant classic. Be warned, the clip is NSFW-ish, unless you are in the Burmese extermination business.
So what's been going on with John Rambo for the past 20 or so years? Well he's moved into the deep jungle to pursue his apparent dream of being a blacksmith who fishes with a bow and arrow. During the video, we see that Rambo is really a humanitarian. He's like a trigger happy Mother Teresa. Huge explosions, canings, hostage takings and an emotional prayer scene. All of this happens before Rambo comes out of retirement. At the 2:06 mark, we see Rambo karate chop a man's head off. And that's nothing compared to the headsplosions and trachea related violence that is still to come. And that's just the freaking trailer.
One of these men is about to lose a wind pipe.
Among Stallone's eight or so lines is his justification for the hour or so of killing he's just finished. "When you're pushed, killing is as easy as breathing." What the fuck? Is that true? Are we all just one shove away from inhaling blood and exhaling guts? Well if we are just two steps from turning into Rambo, push away.
Images courtesy of one man Photoshop powerhouse Randall S. Maynard.
And to see more Stalloney moments, check out 8 Humiliating Japanese Ads Starring Oscar Nominees. Or check out how Stallone's Demolition Man co-star can help you out in your day to day life, in The Wisdom of Wesley Snipes: 7 Quotes to Live By.