Escape Plan is the first time Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have headlined a movie together. Asterisk 1: Schwarzenegger was one of Stallone’s weekend-cameo all-stars in the first two Expendables films. Asterisk 2: The two men already headlined a movie together. That movie was America, and the running time was the 1980s. The longtime rivals-turned-business partners-turned-surgery buddies rode astride the action genre’s glory days. They were the defining Hollywood duo, more popular — and more easily reduced to cliché — than contemporaries like Bruce Willis or Kurt Russell or Mel Gibson.
And yet, the question of who was the better beefcake has only gotten more complicated in the ensuing decades, as the vagaries of post-golden-age fame have constantly redefined our understanding of the Schwarzenegger/Stallone divide. In an attempt to map the current state of the great ’80s-action-guy debate, we have separated their twin careers into their component parts and scientifically declared a winner. The results may surprise you!
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