Over The Top
Copyright Cannon Group 1987
Submitted by Circus CircusTHE CHARACTERSLincoln Hawk:
Sly Stallone! A trucker trying to forget his troubles, who happens to arm wrestle on the side. He’s trying to get to know his estranged son on a road trip to Vegas.Jason Cutler:
Robert Loggia! He’s Hawk’s wife’s father and thinks Lincoln is a loser. He wants to continue to raise his grandson as his own.Michael Cutler:
Played by David Mendenhall (who won the Razzie for “worst supporting actor”), is a snooty military brat reluctant to accept his father.Christina Cutler-Hawk:
Susan Blakely, Hawks estranged wife, who is dying of some unknown illness. It’s serious whatever it is though, as she’s dying! Desperately wants her son and husband to bond.Bull:
Rick Zumwalt. Arm wrestler and the reigning champ for five years running, thinks Hawk is a chicken.Beefy guys:
Lots of sweaty men that scream a lot (mostly fellow arm wrestlers). One of which is Terry Funk, who gets shoved through a French window by Hawk. THE PLOT
Over The Top is a strange film. First off, I have no idea what genre this film falls into. I mean, sure it’s a sort of family/action drama (trust me, it’s very dramatic), but I believe it’s the only arm-wrestling movie I have ever come across. So does that classify it as a “sports” film? And if so, I would really be stretching that term. Secondly, it’s a very strange star vehicle for Sly Stallone, coming in off the back of successful Rocky and Rambo outings, to a plot where…….well, there’s not much plot, plus it carries the tagline “Some fight for money….Some fight for glory….He’s fighting for his son’s love.” How wussy does that sound?
Basically, Lincoln Hawk (Stallone) is trucker making deliveries and arm wrestling for extra cash on the side. His estranged wife is dying and knowing that she does not have long, asks Hawk to pick up their son from the military academy and get to know him on the way to see her. Hawk’s son Michael (David Mendenhall), is at first unwilling to accept his father after he walked out on him and his mother, but warms soon after some traffic dodging, arm wrestling and endless truck driving. My first gripe with this film (and this is hard, as I adore any 80s movie), is that Michael is so damn irritating. His character is such a stuck up egomaniac, that I was hoping Hawk would abandon him all over again by throwing him out onto the hot tarmac!
Anyway, Michael and Hawk bond, much to the chagrin of Michael’s cranky grandfather (Robert Loggia), who doesn’t want him having anything to do with his biological father and sends some goons after them to recover the boy. At one point Hawk rams his truck into grumpy gramps’ mansion to see Michael and gets busted in the process, which is probably the most exciting and action packed moment of the entire film. In order to stay out of trouble, Hawk has to agree to leave the state and not see Michael. He does so, heading to Vegas to compete in the arm wrestling championships. Michael, missing his estranged father after just one day, escapes and heads to Vegas too, but with gramps and goons not too far behind. Then comes some of the most ludicrous sequences of images I have ever had to behold: Large, sweaty men constantly thrust into frame screaming and flexing their muscles in extremely tight shirts. Oh the screaming! I can still hear it all now….I thought the Ultimate Warrior was going to run in at any moment for a cheap cameo, with his veins bursting all over the camera.
In the end, Hawk beats the champ, Bull, in slow motion, whilst covered in buckets of sweat to the typical soft rock anthem. He wins a new truck, wins his son back for good and they head off into the end credits happily ever after. I would admit that some scenes are quite heart-warming in this, that is, if it weren’t for the vast amount of cheese that has been grilled on top of this movie. It isn’t pretty, but can be enjoyable if you aren’t expecting anything requiring brains or if you really, really like arm wrestling.LESSONS LEARNED
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
- Arm wrestling is a very popular “sport”.
You can make up for 10 years of child neglect in 1 day.
If you do weights with just one arm, both your arms will appear the same size.
Eating cigarettes and drinking motor oil can enhance your performance.
You can win any arm wrestling bout as long as you “feel strong”.
12 year old boys can learn to a drive trucking rig in under 5mins.
12 year old boys can also drive a car instantly and know the way to Las Vegas.
Arm wrestling can solve all our problems, whether it be a family feud or financial.
Sylvester Stallone’s shoulders are shaped like pillows.
Robert Loggia is Nobody’s father.
1min: What the hell is he smiling at?
9mins: He’s not even watching the road!
10mins: Please, someone run that kid over!
14mins: I’ve never seen blue putty on a bar before…
30mins: Gambling with minors? Dear me Sylvester….
35mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PARKED CAR!
44mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A MANSION!
53mins: Don’t see many 12yr old boys with handbags….
57mins: These people are mentally ill.
59mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A MAN’S CHEEKS!
69mins: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST FRENCH WINDOWS!
81mins: No, these people are just constipated…
85mins: CreditsNOTABLE QUOTESHarry Bosco:
“My whole body is an engine. This is a fireplug
... and I'm gonna light him up.”Lincoln Hawk:
“The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it.”Bull:
“I drive truck, break arms, and arm wrestle. It's what I love to do; it's what I do best.”Michael Cutler:
“Grandfather always said you were a loser. Now you're trying to make me one and I hate you for it.”Lincoln Hawk:
“Mike, I think we’re wearing this knob out here”.