You might laugh and say Sylvester Stallone's not an actor, however the truth is that he's been working and thriving in an industry that eats people and spits them out on a daily basis. And he's been doing this for longer than some of us have been alive. Here's five of his best scenes...
5. COP LAND - "I offered you a chance to be a cop and you blew it!"
Stallone famously remarked that Cop Land cost him a lot of work because it was so completely different from anything he's known for. It's his best on-screen performance since Rocky and yet it's almost always overlooked when discussing his career. Playing a gentle if naïve sheriff in a sleepy town that houses a cabal of corrupt cops, Stallone's performance is incredible. This scene in particular seems him coming to DeNiro's Internal Affairs agent to beg for help. Stallone's reaction is as subtle and natural as anything DeNiro himself has done.
4. DEMOLITION MAN - "John Spartan, you are fined one credit for..."
Demolition Man, much like a lot of Stallone's work, is seated firmly in the "so-bad-it's-good" camp. What's interesting about Demolition Man, however, is that it makes no attempt at being serious. Everything about is completely tongue in cheek and Stallone is, believe or not, in on the joke. Set in 2032, coffee, red meat, swearing and pretty much anything fun has been made illegal. Awoken from a cryogenic sleep to track down his old nemesis - played by Wesley Snipes - Stallone finds the brave new world weird and troubling. It's a campy classic, sure, but one of Stallone's most memorable roles.
3. TANGO & CASH - "I've got seniority."
As mentioned, Stallone is a truly underrated actor and when he wants to, he can really act. What's more, he can produce chemistry with almost anyone he works with on screen. The best example of this is Tango & Cash, probably the best buddy-cop film of the 1980's and beyond. Wiseguy cops Ray Tango (Stallone) and Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) are framed for murder and have to go on the run to prove their innocence and take the down the evil drug lord who set them up in the first place. The plot is complete tosh, but it's an excuse to put two action stars in a film together. And that's why we love it.
2. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD, PART II - All of it, basically
Although the context was similar - POWs and Vietnam veterans adjusting to life - the first Rambo film and the second couldn't be more different. Where the first was almost like a survival drama and showcased Stallone's talent for showcasing emotion with little to no dialogue, the second was an out-and-out action blockbuster. The trailer says it all and it's completely understandable why Hot Shots! Part Deux chose to parody it.
1. ROCKY - The Meat Locker scene
Rocky featured in our 10 Sports Films To See Before You Die and, for our money, it's Stallone's greatest role. Why this scene is particularly important is because you finally see that Rocky's taking it seriously and demands to be taken seriously. Sure, there's the running up the steps bit and the song, but this scene is the turning point. Pounding on a lump of beef, only to display his bloodied fists afterwards, is a reminder that these men set out to hurt each other.