8. Rocky Balboa - Sylvester Stallone
Okay, so we may not actually be moving that far away from Arnie, but with 2006's Rocky Balboa came a slight change in mass opinion regarding Sylvester Stallone. Sly had spent the decade leading up to this film starring in no brain action flicks, playing meaty big guys, and mostly cops, with names like Kit Latura and Joe Tanto, and a voice role in the second best animated film about ants made in the '90s. To make matters worse, he also featured in the unfounded evil that was a Hollywood remake of Get Carter, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Judge Dredd. In fact, let's just rule the whole of the '90s out as something of a total no-fly zone for Stallone, even if I do secretly love Demolition Man. The man became a walking, unintelligibly talking parody of himself, and so it was somewhat appropriate that the champion of all comeback stories, and a character of his own creation, would prove itself to be the vehicle which would help him rise to the top again. First of all, I'm not saying that Rocky Balboa wasn't a silly film, as it most definitely was, I mean, the man was 60 years old and taking on a boxer in his prime thanks to the prompting of a computer game: however, like the original of the series, the film relies more on plot and honest acting than plausible boxing. Sly poured himself into Balboa for (hopefully) one last time, in a microcosmic manner which just did enough to remind us that he was genuinely a talented actor in his day, and all the more believable when playing a character with more to him than throwaway action catchphrases. Afterwards, Stallone used his new found respectability to make the least pleasing fourth installment of his other franchise, Rambo, though he did then give us The Expendables. But then he gave us The Expendables 2. Comebacks are tricky.