Sylvester Stallone and His Films: 'I Always Believe the Violence Is Justifiable'

by Alessandro Moretti

Actor, director, producer, screenwriter Sylvester Stallone, 64, and fellow players Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren were plugging The Expendables, Stallone's latest vanity opus, in the United Kingdom.

Below are a couple of choice Stallone quotes (whether they were said 100 percent in jest, who can tell?) found in The Guardian:

“I always believe the violence is justifiable. The one thing in my films … I only kill people that need to be killed.”

“Let me put it this way. The ones that deserve it get it and they get it good and the ones that go after women really get it, you know what I mean? Really get it. People say: 'Oh, isn't that overkill?' and I say 'I'm not going to have a man having his way with a woman and wrecking her life and just shoot him with a bullet - it's too civilised. He's going to feel real pain'.”

I'm sure women everywhere would feel safer if Stallone were Ruler of the World. Or maybe they wouldn't.

Back in the '80s, long before Guantanamo made torture acceptable in “civilized” society, Stallone was reviled by many in the media for two of his films, both directed by George P. Cosmatos: Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and, especially, Cobra (1986), in which the macho-machoer-machoest actor plays a cop that makes Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry look like a total wuss.

Intent on killing “people that need to be killed,” at one point in the film Stallone's badged hero (or self-righteous sociopath, if you prefer) pours gasoline all over one nasty villain, tells him he has “the right to remain silent,” and then sets him on fire.

In the New York Times, Nina Darnton wrote that Cobra “is a disturbing movie from many points of view: disturbing for the violence it portrays, the ideas it represents and the large number of people who will undoubtedly go to see it and cheer on its dangerous hero.

“The film trades on the same technique used by books that attack pornography by printing examples of the dirty pictures. … [It] pretends to be against the wanton violence of a disintegrating society, but it's really the apotheosis of that violence.”

Evidently, not much has changed in the last half century. Not in the world; not inside Stallone's head.

Photo: The Expendables (Karen Ballard / Lionsgate)

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