Last week's Face-Off column
put two of the most popular comic book movie villains against each other, and the majority of you agreed that Heath Ledger's Joker from THE DARK KNIGHT took the crown from Marvel's Loki.
This weekend rounds up an array of familiar faces for THE EXPENDABLES 3
, which finds Sylvester Stallone facing off with nemesis Mel Gibson. How do the careers of these two Hollywood veterans stack up against each other?
(Please note: Face Off is an opinion column. We're not using any actual science to prove or disprove anything. It's just for fun.)
-Everyone’s favorite underdog boxer Rocky Balboa (six ROCKY movies)
-Vietnam vet and one-man army John Rambo (four RAMBO movies)
-Tough but amiable mercenary Barney Ross (three EXPENDABLES movies)
-Wasteland warrior “Mad” Max Rockatansky (three MAD MAX movies)
-Unhinged LAPD detective Martin Riggs (four LETHAL WEAPON movies)
It's safe to say that comedy isn't Sly's area of expertise, as demonstrated by OSCAR, RHINESTONE, GRUDGE MATCH and... STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT
Mel cranked up the charisma for BIRD ON A WIRE, WHAT WOMEN WANT and MAVERICK, bantered with chum Robert Downey Jr. in AIR AMERICA and the oddity THE SINGING DETECTIVE, and gave his voice to a roguish clay rooster in CHICKEN RUN. Also, his kooky cop dabbled in slapstick in the LETHAL WEAPON movies, and he popped up as a body-piercer in the Robin Williams/Billy Crystal comedy FATHER'S DAY
Stallone showed chops in earlier work like PARADISE ALLEY, ROCKY, FIRST BLOOD, VICTORY, NIGHTHAWKS and F.I.S.T., but then let his physique do all the heavy lifting for about 15 years until dipping into the donuts for COP LAND
Mel focused on the drama for a solid stretch -- GALLIPOLI, THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, THE RIVER, MRS. SOFFEL, THE BOUNTY.
After that, in between hamming it up and shooting people, he kept a straight face for HAMLET, FOREVER YOUNG, RANSOM, THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE, SIGNS, EDGE OF DARKNESS and (puppet notwithstanding) THE BEAVER
Sly made an early appearance running down pedestrians as Machine Gun Joe Viterbo in the Corman classic DEATH RACE 2000, and menaced the clever youngsters in SPY KIDS 3D.
While those were Stallone's only straight-up bad guy roles, he had a minor part as mob thug Frank Nitti in CAPONE, and he's also been a professional hitman in BULLET TO THE HEAD and ASSASSINS, a casino enforcer in the GET CARTER remake, and a con artist in SHADE
Mel was a charming drug dealer in TEQUILA SUNRISE, a relentless crook seeking his stolen cash in PAYBACK, and a robber stuck south of the border in GET THE GRINGO.
More recently he's embraced his inner villain, trying to eliminate Robert Rodriguez's favorite Mexican in MACHETE KILLS and Sly's entire crew in THE EXPENDABLES 3
MAN OF ACTION
Stallone didn't become one of Hollywood's most notable action stars without good reason. He clobbered opponents in the ring in the ROCKY series and was an unstoppable war machine in the RAMBO movies, and flexed his muscles in a steady string of action flicks -- COBRA, LOCK UP, TANGO & CASH, CLIFFHANGER, DEMOLITION MAN, THE SPECIALIST, JUDGE DREDD, ASSASSINS and DAYLIGHT (and OVER THE TOP, if you count arm-wrestling as "action"). He also got his knuckles bloody and exercised his trigger finger in GET CARTER, EYE SEE YOU, ESCAPE PLAN and BULLET TO THE HEAD, while gathering up a grizzled team of hired guns for the EXPENDABLES movies
Gibson has seen his fair share of war -- GALLIPOLI, ATTACK FORCE Z, AIR AMERICA, BRAVEHEART, THE PATRIOT and WE WERE SOLDIERS. He also blew away dozens of bad guys in the LETHAL WEAPON series, beat up and gunned down some fellow criminals in PAYBACK, handled post-apocalyptic marauders in the MAD MAX movies, and took on the government in CONSPIRACY THEORY
Sly was both behind and in front of the camera for PARADISE ALLEY, ROCKY II, ROCKY III, ROCKY IV, ROCKY BALBOA, RAMBO and THE EXPENDABLES, and filmed a prancing John Travolta in the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER sequel STAYING ALIVE
Mel directed himself in THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE and BRAVEHEART before focusing on other actors with THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and the Mayan chase movie APOCALYPTO
Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay - ROCKY
Nominated for 31 Razzie Awards
Oscar and Golden Globe winner for Best Director – BRAVEHEART
Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor – RANSOM, WHAT WOMEN WANT
$3.1 billion worldwide
$3.7 billion worldwide
Gibson may still be recuperating from some public embarrassments (you might recall the DUI, controversial declarations and volatile voicemails), but it's hard to argue with what he's put on screen. Stallone's Rocky and Rambo characters are global icons, but he otherwise doesn't have a BRAVEHEART of his own or a particularly nuanced filmography -- unless you count the diversity in how he's dispatched other humans in his abundance of action flicks.Agree? Disagree? Which do you prefer?
With plenty of experience acting, writing, producing and directing, both Gibson and Stallone are clearly multi-talented guys. And while I can always watch a ROCKY or FIRST BLOOD (or TANGO & CASH), Gibson has a more magnetic presence and wider range -- I find myself more intrigued by Mel's warrior of the wasteland and his playfully dangerous LETHAL WEAPON character, along with some of the more subtle and varied efforts in his career.
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!