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Face-Off: Sylvester Stallone vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger

08.16.2012by: Paul Huffman
Last weeks Face Off saw two super spies in good ol 007 James Bond and Jason Bourne go head to head, with the suave spy of old taking an impressive victory.

This week is a week to be celebrated, this week we get the sequel to the film that brought the action film back to where it should be, with The Expendables. So who better to pay tribute to this week than two of the top dogs that were at the front lines of the old school we all love so dearly in the ultimate match between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Who is your favorite? Who left the bigger mark on you as you were watching their films back in the day? Great arguments can be made for both men. Let's discuss!
Memorable Characters
Rocky Balboa. John Rambo. Cobra Cobretti. Lincoln Hawk. Judge Dredd. John Spartan. Last but not least the most recent Barney Ross.

Sly Stallone has provided us with many heroes to root for over the years, most of them with a bit more edge than his Austrian/American counterpart. In the beginning of his career, Sly's claim to fame was the perfect underdog to root for that spawned a huge franchise with a boxer that I loved seeing triumph in and out of the ring. Was even robbed of an award in my opinion for his performance in the latest Rocky installment. Of course who can forget John Rambo and a personal favorite of mine for Sly as John Spartan in Demolition Man. I want a sequel that sees the man mastering the three seashells.
The Terminator. Conan. John Matrix. Dutch Schaeffer. Doug Quaid. Harry Tasker. Jack Slater. Yes, even Mr. Freeze because the man took the role and ran with it. Respect.

The obvious role to note for Arnie is his turn as The Terminator, to the menacing villain in the first film, to the hero in the sequel. Many a childhood memories I can attribute to that damn cybernetic organism that captured my heart and my imagination, my mother better have kept that toy rifle. Arnold has less franchises under his belt to speak of but has provided us with plenty of ass-kicking protagonists that have left their mark with a single film. That's talent no matter how you slice it.
Quotables
Kill Skill
Obviously Sly Stallone has an edge here just with the Rambo films alone, seeing the man off his villains was always a beautiful thing to see and he didn't shy away from brutality when the situation called for it. He is good with fists, feet, knives, and guns (modern day and futuristic). On a ranking I saw recently on the AMC website Sly Stallone had a kill count of 98, just behind Arnie's count of 101. However, this was before Expendables came a long and knocked us all on our asses. Not only does Sly kill with great skill, he packs it with intensity that is unmatched even by the former Governator.
The Terminator, Commando, Predator...these films are where our man Arnold really shined in his ability to raise some hell. So much so that I question the parental maturity of letting your toddler son watch Terminator 2 at least twice a day for years. But I've become a better man for it. Arnie may not be as diverse in his throw down skills as Sly per se, but he has always made up for it in menace and letting his physique do the talking. Play to your strengths. I look forward to seeing how he disposes of the opposition in this latter phase of his career. Bring on Last Stand.
Overall
Sylvester Stallone has more range in his career than I think is normally talked about. He epitomizes everything an action star should be, while at the same time giving us some dramatic performances that can not be counted out. In the middle of blowing shit up, shooting shit up, and beating shit up his characters have made time for some of the most intense and inspirational lines ever spoken in any film let alone an action film. He's given action fans many moments to remember, and inspirational underdogs with philosophies about life to live by. It's been a treat to look back at the beginning of his career and see it transition into what he has become today. And it's not over.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has provided me with more fond memories than I can count, and has made an impact on the genre left untouched by anyone. After making his mark on the action genre he employed some range by giving some family fare a shot, some were hits and some were misses. Even when Arnie hit us with a dud, he managed to stay entertaining. You know you've marked your status as a legend when an audience geeks out on every small cameo that features your face, CGI or not. Now that Arnold is done with his political career and finding his way back into the game, well...to say it's a good time to be an action film is understatement of the year. Indeed, he is back!
Sylvester Stallone
This mans two cents is in, both these men have become legends of the genre but my vote has swung this way simply because I believe in all these Sly Stallone has found a way to transcend the action genre in a bit of a better manner than Arnold has tried to in the past. In the past couple years Stallone has come back and shown love and respect to franchises that have made him famous, and continues to pour effort into making more classics. What is the best aspect of both of these legends careers? Neither of them has reached their last round. If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which action star is your favourite?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!
Tags: Face-Off

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