Sylvester Stallone at his most ultimate in Cobra (1986)
But it was the 1986 cult classic Cobra, that showcased Stallone’s greatest role as Los Angeles policeman Lt. Marion “Cobra” Cobretti, and sadly flew under the radar for many action fans.
Here are 7 reasons why Stallone’s Cobra is his true cinematic masterpiece, and in my opinion, the best action movie of all time.
1) He wrote the script himself
Stallone was originally set to star in Beverly Hills Cop, but was dropped from the project after he wanted to revise the script to be less comedic and more of an action film, and thus Cobra was born. Sure it was loosely based on the novel Fair Game by Paula Gosling, but you gotta give Sly some credit for writing a badass screenplay for this classic movie, some even say he did most of the directing as well which is no easy feat when you’re playing the lead role.
2) The supermarket shoot out scene
When watching this part of the movie, It becomes clear that Pepsi and Coors Light probably paid a hefty amount for all of their product placement, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the supermarket hostage negotiation.
Let me know if you can watch this scene and HONESTLY not want a Pepsi or Coors Light afterwards. The way the refrigerators leave a haunting fog throughout the isles as Cobra inches his way to the shotgun wielding maniac is a beautiful touch. Remember the saying “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”?
Well that rule doesn’t apply to Cobra, as all it takes is him throwing a knife in the heart of the crazed lunatic to take him down. (And of course a few gun shots just to finish him off.)
3) The Villain
It’s badass enough that all of the bad guys in this movie belong to a crazy axe wielding cult called “The New World”, a group of lunatics that believe in killing the weak, leaving only the strongest and smartest to rule the world. But it’s their leader who is only referred to as “The Night Slasher“, that really brings the movie to the next level. Most villains in movies don’t really do much for me, but something about the Night Slasher’s piercing eyes, quiet calm persona and deep voice make him someone you wouldn’t want to pick a fight with. Hell, even Cobra will tell you that their final brawl was a close one.
4) Cobra’s Car
Obviously a guy like Cobra has to have a ride that’s as cool as him, and his custom 1950 Ford Mercury definitely fit him well. In fact, it was Stallone’s car in real life! (Obviously they had to have a few stunt cars, because it gets completely destroyed in a high speed chase). And the fact that the license plate is ” AWSOM 50” speaks for itself.
5) The Amazing One Liners
With lines like “I don’t deal with psychos, I put ’em away,” “You’re the disease, and I’m the cure.” And my personal favorite, when the Night Slasher says, “we’re the future,” to which Cobra replies, “No, you’re history.” You can just picture Sly testing all of these out in front of the mirror when writing this screen play and that makes them even better.
6) The Violence
When this movie came out, it was disliked by many because of the graphic violence. It was even rated “X” when first submitted to the MPAA, but after a few graphic scenes cut out, it made its way down to an “R.”
I personally think the violence is a huge part of the movie, and it brings us back to the wild wild west of 80’s movies, where pretty much anything could be done, compared to now where we have to use our imagination in a lot of contemporary movies.
The fact that we got to see all these terrible acts of violence lets us know exactly what Cobra is up against.
7) Cobra’s Style
Oversized aviators, a match hanging out of his mouth, a black shirt with the top unbuttoned, leather gloves, a leather jacket a trench coat, and a gun with a picture of a cobra on the handle..need I say more? I’d say his style is business casual, in the sense that he’s casually dressed to take care of some ass kicking business. I mean just look at the movie poster! I know it’s common for kids to see a guy like Cobra and want to be like him when they grow up, but I’m 25 and still striving to be half as cool as he is.
Taylor Warf spent 20 of his 25 years in a maximum security prison, where instead of meals, they allowed him to watch one action movie a day. Unfortunately all of the movies finally got to his head when he organized a prison riot and escaped. He is still at large to this day – and occasionally writes movie reviews.