We are obsessed with maxims of human ability; who is fastest, who is strongest, who is deadliest. And we’ve created proving grounds for each. The Olympics. Worlds Strongest Man. That program with Sean Bean’s brother from Lord of the Rings. Etc. But we don’t care about any of that. Truly, the only thing any boy or girl ever wants to be is the biggest action hero of all time. Undoubtedly it’s always gonna be Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. You can argue about who fills that bronze spot on the medal podium all you want (the Lundgrens, the Eastwoods, the Seagals), but gold and silver is a done deal. So then the only real question is who would win between these do monoliths of violence. Lets find out.
Italian Stallion vs. Austrian Oak
If you didn’t catch my last review (and why didn’t you?), Demolition Man pits badass cop John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone – Escape Plan) against meniacal bastard Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes – Passenger 57). Their old-school rivalry is played out on the streets of future LA, where everyone is too sanitized and pussy-whipped to intervene. But while you may write off Demolition Man as your prototypical 90’s sci-fi actioner, you’d best think again. Because like one of those M Night Shyamalan films, there’s a twist. See, Simon Phoenix isn’t the real bad guy.
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Los Angeles. 1996. The Future. LA has descended into a shitty whirlwind of fire and crime, and the pen-pushers at City Hall are helpless to stop it. So when Super Bastard Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes – Blade) kidnaps a busload of hostages, there’s only one man they can send to bring his ass down. Send a maniac to catch a maniac. Enter
Maniac Cop LAPD Sgt. John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone – Over The Top).
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If you’re one of those neophyte, knuckle-dragging movie wanderers, ignorant to the true power of badass cinema, you might be forgiven for thinking that Last Action Hero is the only parody movie of Schwarzenegger’s movie career. But you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. Instead, that honour lies with Arn’s third (and currently final) partnering with elite director James Cameron.
Let’s talk about their collaborative swansong. Lets talk about True Lies.
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This is serious news for any true Terminator fan. To me, the saga peaked and terminated (lol) with Judgement Day. Rise of the Machines was a shallow, pointless farse, followed only by the crushingly limp and disappointing Salvation. Even the Sarah Connor Chronicles took badasses Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity) and Lena Headey (300, Game of Thrones) and still managed to screw it up. I guess even with kobe beef, some chefs can’t even make a good Whammyburger.
But there is a glimmer of hope.
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The Golden Age of action movies is certainly over. Yet the likes of JCVD, Schwarzenegger and other gnarled action legends are still kicking ass and working away at movie projects (such as Pound of Flesh and Maggie). But, if the heydays of the 80’s are over, you can bet your bottom dollar that the $30 million pay cheques are a thing of the past too.
It is no surprise that such movie behemoths turn to commercials for a quick buck. Now Sly Stallone is treating us to his own big fat slice of glorious exploitative advertising.
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