Why They’re Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:44 am,

expendables 570 Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

Well the time has finally come; it’s the end of Expendables Week here at Screen Rant and now it’s time to cover the man that made this all possible – Sylvester Stallone.

There are a handful of names that come to mind when talking about 80s male action stars – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal – those are all some pretty big names, yes, but Stallone is quite possibly the biggest name in action to emerge from the 1980s.

He started in films in the early ’70s, but really increased in popularity in the late 70s with his portrayal of the “The Italian Stallion” Rocky Balboa. The character would carry him into the 80s and well beyond.

Sylvester Stallone – Barney Ross

the expendables sylvester stallone Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

In The Expendables Stallone plays Barney Ross, the mercenary marksman who leads the team. Described as “void of emotion” Barney is the “strategist leading his men to the fringe.” Stallone has done several movies that qualify him to be the leader of The Expendables team, but we have chosen our top 10 favorite roles that we feel best personify his reputation as an action movie badass.

#10 – Death Race 2000

the expendables sylvester stallone death race 2000 Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

In Roger Corman’s classic B movie, Stallone is Machine Gun Joe Vetirbo and is Frankenstein’s biggest competition in a cross country race where the drivers score points by killing certain people with their cars – an oldie but goodie.

#9 – Cop Land

the expendables sylvester stallone cop land Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

In a role that probably rivals his 1976 Rocky performance, Stallone is Freddy Heflin, the sheriff of Garrison, NJ, where New York City cops come to live – hence the name Cop Land. There is corruption in his town and some of the NYC police officers and Heflin have to weed it out. Stallone actually shows off some pretty good acting chops in this film, playing a down-on-his-luck loser who wants to be as badass as the other boys in blue around him.

#8 – Tango & Cash

the expendables sylvester stallone tango cash Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

In what is probably my favorite Stallone film of all time, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! Tango & Cash, Stallone teams up with Kurt Russell in a film that makes absolutely no sense with its story but somehow manages to entertain every time I watch it.

#7 – Rocky

the expendables sylvester stallone rocky Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

Yo Adrian! I did it!” Of course this line wasn’t uttered until the end of Rocky II but the original Rocky stands out as one of the best films Stallone ever wrote and acted in. To this day, his training montage scenes have inspired countless other copycat scenes, and if you ever get to the top steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and don’t turn around and lift your arms triumphantly in the air, then you’re probably under the age of 20.

#6 – Demolition Man

the expendables sylvester stallone demolition man Why Theyre Expendable: Sylvester Stallone

How badass is Sylvester Stallone? So badass that even when he plays a cop he gets the nickname Demolition Man because of all the damage his does while capturing bad guys. Even when they freeze his character and re-thaw him in the future, he’s still the baddest man on the planet.

Continue on to see our top 5 Stallone films

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  1. nice list paul!!! im writing this comment and watching rambo 3 at the same time lol. the bookends to the rocky kovies were mr favorites of the series..and yeah rocky balboa does tug on ones heart, it was hard for me to watch at a couple of points, most notably the meathouse scene with him and paualie.

  2. Cobra above Rocky? Man, what are you guys drinking over there ? :)

    Glad Cop Land is on there, one of the most underrated movies. Not a lot of people even heard of it.

    Also agree with #1. Every single time First Blood is on TV I watch it (which has been happening a lot on AMC). Just a damn good movie. Really original protagonist and some really good antagonists too.

    • I think that may have been my personal bias coming into play. Cobra has been one of my favorites for a long time and even though I recognize how important the original Rocky is to the whole series, I found the movie itself to be a tad slow and boring. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good movie mind you just a personal preference :)

      BTW, Stallone only got paid 30K to do Cop Land.

      • wow really? was that something that he was ok with?

        • Yeah. He thought the story was good enough that he took a huge cut in pay just to do it. They didn’t have much of a budget and it really was one of his best performances.

          • i actually liked that movie a lot, just wish it was a little longer, woulda liked to see more of those characters

            • Fair enough Paul. Like you, I am bias because I do boxing and Rocky movies were what peak my interest in it. But Cobra’s aviators and leather jacket and five o’clock shadow look beat Rocky’s fedora schmuck look any day. I’ll give you that.

              CRAZY that he only got 30K for that but I’m glad they gave him a chance to actually act along side De Niro and Liotta. And he did a DAMN GOOD job too.

  3. 4 words… “I AM THE LAW!”

  4. “I could of killed them all and I could of killed you , in town your the law out here it’s me, First Blood the birth of John Rambo the start of a great story told over 4 films pure awesomeness I love and own all 4 films ^_^

  5. Yeah where was Judge Dredd? :)

    • sam, i know you are kidding right LOL


    • over the top LOL….

    • Hey don’t think I didn’t consider Over the Top now – a trucker driver who whoops butt at Arm Wrestling and teaches his son how to do it too? Yeah that was definitely a possibility. I mean, to this day when I see someone arm wrestling I want to scream “Go over the top!”

  7. The Copland movie comment. I believe all the stars in that movie took a lot less than normal to it. Quite a few stars in that flick. Havey Keitel and Deniro just to name a few. Was unaware Stallone did it for 30k. I’d gave to see where you got that info from though.

  8. I’m glad you included Demolition Man; I really liked that movie and each time I see it on the guide, something just makes me tune to it. IMHO, it’s very under-rated.

    • It’s funny…as I searched YouTube looking for these video clips I found myself watching one after another and remembering that I hadn’t watched these films in a while. I’m going to have to make a list and start working my way down it again :)

  9. A cobra is not the most deadliest snake on the planet.I believe that title goes to the black mamba.That’s right,I’m a stickler.

    • “…nickname comes from one of the most deadliest snakes on the planet…”

      I know which is why I said ONE OF the most deadliest and not THE deadliest. :)

      • its the taipan…not the mamba, the mamba is known for its ferocity in attacks, actually chasing its victims, striking multple times. as far as lethal toxicity though, its the Taipan

  10. you can always tell if the Stallone movie will be good by the name of his character if you can name your dog it (Rocky-Rambo-Freddy Copland)then it will be a good movie or if he has a animals name in the movie (Cobra-even Night Hawks ) check it out his name was Dasilva and Billy Dee’s name was Fox –DA Silva Fox LOL it kinda like a Tom Hanks Movie if he Pees in it then you know it will be good LOL don’t believe me (forrest-Green Mile -Castaway)

  11. Lock Up should have been considered as well but the list is well done. I feel sad and lame to say I own all of those movies. I loved that Tango & Cash is on here. Damn Kurt Russell, he should have said yes to The Expendables.

    • @Alex

      Why be ashamed? Those movies are great, no matter what people say. I grew up on these movies and they’ll always be the movies I love; the movies I stop flipping channels for, the movies I show to my kids, etc. This is getting sentimental.

      And I do have to say that our generation had much better movies to grow up on then today’s teenage generation films. Can you imagine these tweens growing up and trying to convince others of how great Twilight or Hight School Musical is? I’ll take Tango and Cash and Rambo any day.

      And btw, Lock Up is my favorite Stallone movie, so good pick.

      • Sentimental indeed. Thanks ogb, you’re absolutely right. Our generation is definitely the best for many other reasons as well. I actually chuckled out loud at the thought of your Twilight/High School Musical comment.
        I just watched Lock Up for the gazillionth time. Great movie.

  12. Great selection of movies and I totally agree that Cop Land was a very underrated film. Some of Sly’s best acting work, ever. I can’t argue with number 1, either. First Blood is one of THE all-time bad ass action films. I still think the original Rocky should be #2. Sly wouldn’t have been able to make the other films without having hit the ball out of the park with that film.

  13. RHINESTONE. :)

  14. Oh how I do love Sylvester Stallone. I believe that this is a great tribute to Sylvester Stallone because overall he is really underrated. No one thought he could be someone and look where he is today!!! I read an excerpt from one of his books and he is truly an inspiring person. I think every one of these movies are great and have seen them endless times. I myself have wanted an over the top (pun) RAMBO army knife, I mean it is hard not to!!!!