Despite boasting a long and illustrious career that’s seen him star in a number one box office hit in every decade since the 1970s, Sylvester Stallone will be the first person to tell you that he’s been written off more than once. Like one of his most famous creations says, “It ain’t over till it’s over”, something that’s applied to Sly on numerous occasions.
His career has been full of ups and downs, which is to be expected when he first broke out in a major way with Best Picture winner Rocky 45 years ago, but as the 1980s gave way to the 90s, he was finding himself labeled a relic of a bygone age.
His fifth and supposed final outing as the Italian Stallion sent the franchise out on a bum note, while ill-judged comedies Oscar and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot were widely panned, as hilarious as it may be that Arnold Schwarzenegger effectively tricked him into starring in the latter.
However, when Cliffhanger came along in the summer of 1993 to earn $255 million at the box office, Stallone’s detractors were forced to eat their words yet again. It’s basically Die Hard on a mountain, and even brought the John McClane sequel’s director Renny Harlin on board, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a hugely entertaining blockbuster in his own right.
Sly’s stoic mountain rescuer Gabe Walker finds himself up against John Lithgow’s deliciously hammy villain after a group of criminals lose a $100 million stash following a plane crash, and the sparks fly once a double-cross sets the plot in motion. It’s comfortably one of the leading man’s best actioners, with Cliffhanger is now streaming on Netflix to satiate those craving a slice of old school cheese with their pyrotechnics.