Letting go of ‘Not letting go’….
A relic of a relic
For some odd reason I remember being a Sylvester Stallone fan when I was younger. I’m personally not a fan of this revival stuff like the new expendables/rocky balboa etc. I generally think it’s a means for some people to cash in since they’ve amassed a significant amount of free time and now they can make the bigger bucks as co-producers and directors as well just geriatric action stars. I don’t blame them for it but you can clearly see this is reflected in the quality of the final product we end up with. Meh
So amongst some of his more famous work such as the Rocky and Rambo series, a film of his that really stuck out to me was one he did alongside director Renny Harlin, back in 1993, Cliffhanger.
Not only because there is a boss scene in it where he is climbing a rock face and makes this crazy double handed power jump up but also there’s also a scene right early on in it, which is an integral part to the entire narrative.
The film opens with some routine climbing zipline procedure being performed by an amateur climber , when an accident occurs with their equipment and Sylvester’s character, GABE (such a cool name) tries some maverick move to save the individual, who also happens to be a colleague’s fiancée. In anycase it goes tits up and he’s left holding on to her glove while the rest of her takes a one way ticket to some speedy glacier-bottom sight seeing tour.
For those of you weren’t born when this gem came out or simply don’t believe me description, the scene is below.
Now I never realised this at the time and it’s a bit of a diversion from the point of this post but that old man, FRANK is laughing his ass off while this entire thing is going on, that is one cold ass dude. I wished I had noticed this when I was younger, it would have sped up my transgression into the wonderful cold hearted bastard I am now. It’s easy what you miss with simple the misdirection of concentrating on a guy with a head set whining…
In any case the film goes on the elaborate on the guilt of GABE (guilt of Gabe sounds like a great album,name). who never climbs again because he holds himself (excuse the pun) personally responsible for the accident.
Regardless over the course of the film, with the motivation of international terrorists and captive friends at stake, fate provides a duplicate opportunity for Gabe to redeem himself (where the outcome is somewhat better). He finally comes to the realisation that it wasn’t his fault and just like Frank deduced, it was the stupid bitch’s time to hit the sand box.
He alleviates his guilt, kills the baddies and everyone is happy, woop woop. Go GABE
Now it took me nearly two decades to truly understand the point of those key scenes in Cliffhanger and they actually manage to drive home the real sad realisation that is….
You can’t always save those you want to save the most.
This is one of the last of life’s big lessons that I’ve learned and is probably the most sombre of them all. However it is the lesson that has allowed me to grow the most I think.
Over the course of a few posts, I’ll try to get to this point however, I’m not quite ready to go there yet in a concise manner. So I’ll just take my time..