In honor of Friday's release of The Expendables, we're taking a week-long look at the action films of Sir Sylvester Stallone -- which is to say we're skipping his comedies. Out of respect.

Title:Cliffhanger

Setting: The Rocky Mountains, which I can only assume is an inside joke on Stallone's part.

Our hero:
The disgraced Gabe Walker, who (infamously) failed to prevent a young woman's death, but he's back after nine months to pick up the pieces, only to show up just as a bunch of horrific villains have hit the scene. (To the film's credit, Michael Rooker is on hand as co-hero Hal Tucker.)

Our villain/s: Hoo boy, plenty: we have a big Australian one, a rather unpleasant black guy, a vicious lady pilot, a constantly shrieking treasury agency turned bad, and John Lithgow, oozing his way through an intermittent (yet evil) British accent.

The stakes: The lives of Gabe, Hal, an annoying ex-girlfriend, an even more annoying pair of surfboarder dudes, and a really nice old helicopter pilot who deserved better. (Oh, and the several million dollars the bad guys are after.) Also Gabe's redemption from the (ultimately pointless but really shocking) prologue.
categories Cinematical