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SFTH: Stallone - The Enduring Expendable...

Written by () on 1st October 2013

In this first 'Shooting from the Hip...' Tony Earnshaw looks at the enduring Expendable Sylvester Stallone and his career to date...

Tony Earnshaw  Shooting from the Hip Column 1It’s fashionable to say it now but Sylvester Stallone is one smart cookie.

Who else could have single-handedly (and single-mindedly) resurrected his career – and the career of a near-dozen of his contemporaries – by re-vamping for an entirely new 21st century audience the movies in which he made his name? What’s more, he did it on his own terms, under his own steam and proved, once and for all, that action heroes never truly hang up their guns.

Let’s look at the evidence. In the late ‘70s and throughout the ‘80s Sylvester Stallone was the planet’s reigning action king. Sure, there was Arnold Schwarzenegger, another big star in that same solar system. But whilst Schwarzenegger was a presence he could never act. Stallone, on the other hand, noticeably could. He also writes and direct. All useful tools to keep sharp for that far-off time when stardom began to fade.

It might have been difficult to in the ‘80s believe that Stallone’s aura might be tarnished. But times and audience tastes change. There were a few dips (Cobra, anyone? Or Over the Top?) and accusations that Sly’s ego was out of control. Then, after losing his way he fought his way back with 1993’s Cliffhanger, a belting combination of character study and mile-high heist thriller. There followed Demolition Man and the misfire that was Judge Dredd. And then, perhaps inevitably, the slide into tired flicks that didn’t quite attain B-movie status and weren’t quite poor enough to go straight to DVD. But the word was on the street: Stallone was finished.

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Written By

Tony Earnshaw

Tony Earnshaw

Tony Earnshaw has been writing for Impact on and off since 1992. Over the years he has interviewed some of the greats of action cinema including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Woo, Mel Gibson and...

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