Here we go again:
That’s right! Rambo is BACK!
LAST BLOOD BABY!
(Not going to lie, I choked up a little popcorn when I saw that title spring up in the theater… Here’s to originality!)
Few things get us more excited than another big ticket Stallone movie. We’re 80s babies, so that should surprise no one.
And with RAMBO being one of our August PC Box franchises, we just couldn’t resist ourselves…
So after much deliberation, we came up with the ULTIMATE, indisputable, heavyweight champion LIST to end all lists!
THE SLY STALLONE TOP 5.
Few deserve it more. He made a movie about arm-wrestling!
Of course, before we get started, we had to establish a few rules.
RULE #1: There can’t be more than one film from a franchise. Which means that Rambo, Rocky, and the Expendables can, by law, have up to only ONE entry per series as their representation.
I know… seems harsh. But just like Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago were never in the same movie together, they won’t share the list either. We can’t have anarchy people!!!
RULE #2: The list can ONLY include movies where Stallone is the STAR.
Yes, this means that two of his greatest performances– Creed and Spy Kids 3 (just kidding)– will be nowhere near this list.
This isn’t about performances though! It’s about a butt-kicking, bad guy demolishing, ‘roid raging (allegedly), half-face frozen B-A-M-F who has rocked our socks off with blood-boiling action and underdog winning films for more than 40 years!!!
RULE #3: It has to be iconic. None of this sissy, trying to win an Oscar BS or trying to be “funny take on action star” nonsense. These are STALLONE movies. So Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot just got tossed.
Ok enough! Let’s get started:
Stallone fighting a demented John Lithgow in the highest places on earth? Leaping from mountain to mountain?
And all from the proven director of Die Hard 2 (err…), Cutthroat Island (Um…), Deep Blue Sea (oh God…), and Driven (*vomits)?!?
Ok… ignore that part.
STALLONE VS. LITHGOW IN THE MOUNTAINS!!!
Seriously though, Cliffhanger rocks. Just a great action movie with one of the best action film premises ever thought of.
Stallone does it better than Cruise (MI:2), Brad Pitt (7 Years in Tibet), and *achem*… Chris O’Donnell (Vertical Limit).
But if you needed more, watch this:
#4: Demolition Man
Stallone. Snipes. Bullock. Benjamin Bratt. Denis Leary.
It’s like a mid-90s dream team! You know, before Snipes started evading the IRS!
There’s not too much to say here. Just a great sci-fi action vehicle with two of the biggest stars of the 90s going head-to-head and Sandra Bullock as the new girl on the scene who you know is about to be a major star (thanks to Speed!).
Oh yeah, and there’s a sex scene that’s not a sex scene…
There’s seashells instead of TP…
And Wesley Snipes.. as a blonde!
Alright, so far we’ve had some fun, but Copland is LEGIT. A crime thriller about cop politics in a small town is absolutely riveting, plus Stallone puts up arguably his best performance EVER against Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta.
One of the best crooked cop movies ever along with LA Confidential, The Departed, and Training Day, it’s a great watch from beginning to end.
Plus… Stallone got FAT. How much do you think he believed in this movie!?!? The dude is in his 70s and still is cut!
Of course, along with an awesome performance, Annabelle Sciorra stealing hearts, there’s still STALLONE ACTION.
#2: First Blood
Enter JOHN RAMBO.
You knew it had to happen eventually, and here it is. The ORIGINAL. First Blood still holds up nearly 40 years later.
We love First Blood because, unlike the other Rambo films, it’s got a legitimately great story and villain in Brian Dennehy (who knew Tommy Boy’s dad could be so MEAN?!).
There’s craziness. Action in the woods. Booby-traps. Explosions. Knife fights. What else could you possibly ask for?
First Blood gets extra points from being another original franchise from the mind of Stallone himself. The dude wrote the screenplay!
And he still does Stallone things too…
The rest is history. First Blood went on to launch one of the greatest action franchises of all time, with FOUR sequels.
That’s right, before there was Marvel, there was Stallone. Which brings us to…
#1: Rocky III
SURPRISE! It would have been so easy to choose the original Rocky, but the truth is, it’s not the best one!
We love all the Rocky movies (pretending V doesn’t exist, that is…), but III is where it all comes together.
Rocky has peaked and then gone soft. He’s loving all the money and fame while a hungry Clubber Lang (MR. T as nasty as ever!) plots to destroy him.
We see Rocky lose and have to find himself again. We get the death of Mickey, the budding friendship with Apollo, and, of course… THUNDERLIPS!!!!
It’s the Rocky movie where all the entertainment and great storytelling collide, which makes it the best.
And being the best Rocky* means it’s also the best of all Stallone movies. Because when all is said and done, and we all cry for weeks when Stallone finally leaves this world, it’s going to be Rocky he’ll be remembered for the most.
Sly, thanks for 40 years of awesomeness. And even if LAST BLOOD sucks, we won’t care. Because it’s you.
*I never would have forgiven myself if I wrote this without also including my thoughts on Rocky IV. Because, while Rocky III is the BEST Rocky, number IV is my FAVORITE.
I mean, what’s better than U.S. vs. Russia in the Cold War, through BOXING!? We get the death of Apollo PLUS the greatest training montage OF ALL TIME.
Drago is the greatest Rocky villain by at least a quarter-mile, and the final fight STILL is the best Rocky fight.
Then, to cap it all off, ROCKY ENDS THE COLD WAR with the greatest sports movie speech EVER.
ROCKY IV, you have my heart! The greatest Stallone movie, #1B.