Feb 20, 2013
Arnold vs. Sly: King of the Action Heroes (part 2 of 4)
4. Ability to Come Back from a Bomb:
Arnold has really had only one huge bomb, Last Action Hero, assuming you don’t count his tenure as Governor. I don’t count Batman & Robin here, because it made a lot of money, and it really represents the beginning of the tail end of his career more than anything else.
You also can’t really call True Lies a comeback, especially since the films that followed were middling at best. Eraser and True Lies are good, as I said earlier, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who came out of Terminator 3, End of Days, Collateral Damage, or The Sixth Day saying, “Gee, I’m really glad I saw that!” Of those last four, T3 is really the only one I sort of dug, and even that one was fairly underwhelming.
As for Junior and Jingle All the Way? Let’s just say that given a choice between watching a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the world’s first pregnant man, or a holiday comedy co-starring Sinbad, I would opt for losing my sight and hearing. Throw in one of Arnold’s political speeches, and you might actually get me to jump off a bridge!
Stallone, on the other hand, is like a goddamned boomerang. He can make a string of crappy movies, and all of a sudden, something decent comes out. Take his first comeback, for instance. From 1986 to 1992, he had a string of really terrible movies. Put it this way: Tango & Cash was the best of the bunch. And as much as I love that movie, I’m more than willing to admit that it being in the top slot of any list is not a good sign.
In 1993 though, Sly got hot again with Cliffhanger and Demolition Man. Cliffhanger is pretty much a Die Hard clone, but it’s a damn good one, with some amazing stunt work. As for Demolition Man, it’s one of the most genuinely entertaining films in Stallone’s filmography. Even more impressive is his most recent comeback, which brought him back from such lowlights as D-Tox, which went straight to DVD. Rocky Balboa is a great sendoff for the series, and Rambo is just jaw-dropping in its violent excess.