Career Peak – The point in an actor, actress or director’s career when they have given their best performance, reaching a point they will probably never match again!
The idea is to examine a person’s film or television career and decide when their career peak was; the moment that they gave their best performance or produced their best work. This could be with their first movie; it could also be yet to come. Its designed to spark friendly debate too so if you don’t agree (or do, which would also be good) then feel free to add your suggestions below.
Creed saw Sylvester Stallone return to probably his most famous role. To his credit, Stallone didn’t phone it in, bringing real heart and passion back to Rocky Balboa in a role that had some emotional heft and forced Stallone to once again prove his acting chops. It is easy to see why his turn as the Italian Stallion resonates with so many people.
Sylvester Stallone – Career Peak: Rocky
It is easy to dismiss Stallone as a generic, muscle-bound action hero. He has done so many of those classic 80s and 90s action movies that people probably look past his acting talent, of which Stallone has much to offer. He will never been considered in the same category as many heavyweight acting greats but it is easy to forget that Stallone has been Oscar nominated, for both his acting and writing ability.
It was for Rocky that he got both those nominations and although it has slowly started to become known for it’s montages, iconic songs and the awesome boxing scenes, there is a lot of drama and really good performances in the movie, outside of the ring.
This was the movie that catapulted Stallone into Hollywood stardom, at a time when being larger-than-life was big money. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily equate to top quality movies. After Rocky were some other, pretty well forgotten movies and it was always back to the franchise that made him famous to keep his head above water. That is until he created his second most-famous role: John Rambo.
First Blood was another mix of heavyweight drama but this time with explosions, violence and bloodshed. I’m not a huge fan myself but I can see why people love the movie and why it became his second most successful franchise and another role he continuously feels the need to return to.
It was never Rocky though and unfortunately, the same can be said for many of the other movies he made in his time as (arguably) Hollywood’s biggest action star. The early nineties saw classic movies such as Cliffhanger, Demolition Man and Daylight, in amongst forgettable action fodder such as Assassins, Stop! or my Mom will Shoot and a personal travesty; Judge Dredd. They made him money, kept him successful but would never be Rocky!
The one other role that is notable and worth mentioning when looking at Stallone’s career is Freddy Heflin in Copland. Stallone shares the screen with acting heavyweights like Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro but holds the movie and demonstrates an acting talent that is lost in amongst the violence and explosions.
Now at the age of 69, Stallone has made what many would consider a poor choice, trying to relive his glory days. Many would change their direction or even retire but in the last ten years Stallone has brought classic action back in The Expendables series, revisited Rocky twice and even tried his hand at becoming Rambo again. On paper it would seem a disastrous move but Stallone has managed to grow old disgracefully and make it look good.
Overall, Sylvester Stallone’s Career Peak may have been Rocky but that doesn’t mean he had a poor career afterwards. He has never bettered his role as the boxer and the sequels have never lived up to the first (although many are still classics). Action took over his career and although there have been moments, like in Copland, where he showed he was more than muscles, it is the roles he is best known for. Now he has returned to the character that made him famous, there is even talk of a Supporting Oscar nomination and it wouldn’t be a bad move.