Over the Top (1987)
User ReviewsReview this title
Since becoming a professional arm wrestler and losing my ex-wife, this film has inspired me.
It's not easy being a single dad whilst trying to cope with the rising gas prices to keep my rig on the road.
I'm sure a lot of Americans find themselves in this position, and they too should benefit from this realistic docu-drama of the typical American man.
To anyone, who find themselves in a similar rut, or experience any type of bad luck, I thoroughly recommend renting this movie, and joining the local arm-wrestling club.
Like I said this is easily the best made arm-wrestling movie, and I look forward to perhaps a left-handed sequel.
I enjoyed the Arm-wrestling backdrop. It was a refreshing change for movies of that era that boasted big stars like Stallone. Usually, movies that were sport-specific other than the trad football, baseball, or boxing stories tended to use people who were less known (Gotcha, Gleaning the Cube)
A good film. warm, funny, exciting. The better face of the Eighties cinema.
If only there would have been a sequel to this movie. (+:
As a movie from the 80s, Over the Top pretty much represents everything good about the decade. Other than perhaps Rocky IV, this is definitely Stallone's best work. The man is unquestionably a genius. The only part of the movie that is a little far-fetched is when Stallone plows through his father-in-law's gates in a moment of pure man-passion. The unrealistic quality of this scene is obviously the lack of explosion when Stallone's truck hits the gates. This is also an anomaly of the 80s; I think Stallone was going for something unique in a decade of decadence, but I can only hope to comprehend the motives behind any of his films.
I would highly recommend Over the Top for anyone who enjoys classy film.
Sylvester Stallone stars and gives a great performance as the man who just wants to get closer to his son. David Mendenhall stars as well, he plays the son and gives a fine performance, the kid was beautiful to watch. The film also have outstanding music which warmed my heart.
All in All this was an entertaining film which made my day.
Yes, the veritable 'macho-sport of arm-wrestling' is thrown in as a way to win big money quick & show-off Sly's ever-bulging muscles. But hey! What's a Sly-film without muscles?? See this one for family entertainment. Sly might be a bit 'wooden' with some of his lines, but the action scenes are typically Sly!
But I can't help it, I really like Sly. He certainly is no Shakespeare actor but there is that deep honesty he represents in all his flicks and it works. When he first walks into that military school building to fetch his son after cleaning his truck and trying to make himself look his "Sunday best" - I can't help it: it is just great.
Yes it is strange to see a well educated kid (by a military school) being transformed into a "regular guy" by his own father. But in this film that is only a metaphor. The real meaning is: it's the heart that counts, not the social position. Now that's a message which can't be dismissed as junk that easily.
I love the portraits and short interviews of the arm wrestling contestants. Brilliant.
Probably the best scene is when the (always wonderful) Robert Loggia finally accepts the fact that his grandson loves his dad. The "villain" hasn't been beaten. No even better: he has been convinced and transformed.
Over the Top works on two levels: as popcorn entertainment: "Blue collar hero beats the odds" and as good old fashioned, almost Frank Capra- like cinema: "good will always win in the end".
Bottom line: as with many a Sly flick (any film Sylvester Stallone agrees to participate in or where he actually did the writing, directing etc.)we have to work our way through a popcorn flick to find a deeper meaning. And I say it is there in Over the Top hitting it dead center.
So I'm a Sylvester Stallone fan. Now call me names, I can take it.
I think it takes too much to be an actor of his value, to go deep into his character and to drive a huge truck. And again there comes the idea of physical strength and stamina.
Which I find very inspiring. Not drugs, bad language and manours. Training the body and the mind. Silvester Stallone is one of my inspirations to deal with sports. And I have done it for over a decade now.
OVER THE TOP FOR LIFE
Anyway, arm wrestling screenplay and all related to it was simply so good, so there is no reason to not enjoy this movie, and i don't neet to mention the amazingly good soundtrack.
Rates for this movie should be reset and started from 0 again, after some people re-see this movie and reflect I'm sure it would get a much higher score.
Sylvester Stallone is a love him or hate him kind of actor. I love him! His charisma is undeniable and his quiet determined but fallible Lincoln Hawk is a great character. He is far from perfect but trying to make amends and has this solid determination that is endearing. David Mendenhall is just nearly the perfect 80's kid. He is spoiled and bratty but you root for him to come around and connect with his father. His acting ability isn't perfect but for this type of movie he fits it so well. The chemistry between him and Stallone is surprisingly spot on. I would consider Robert Loggia a terrific character actor. He has been in some phenomenal and classic films. He is perfect in this movie as the overbearing and demanding rich Grandfather. He is the perfect adversary for Hawk and the only problem is there isn't enough of him. He's actually underused in many ways. Rick Zumwalt is the brutish, muscle bound arm wrestling champion. He is okay but he really is just the muscle that Stallone has to beat without any real character behind him. He's like a wrestler and he's there to look menacing and larger than life and he does that well.
Menahem Golan churned out movies like few other directors. He is like the king of B-Action flicks. You would probably not even recognize any of them. Still he clearly knows the cookie cutter recipe for making an 80's flick. He knew his demographic and he knew who he was working with (rumour has it that he just kept offering Stallone more and more money until he said yes) and he doesn't pretend that Over The Top is anything more than it is. Its not pretentious and doesn't try to shove the story down your throat. It is a simple, fun, sweet movie that is ultimately very uplifted. And the soundtrack...is there literally another 80's movie that just reeks of 80's music like this one? Its all original music for the film and it is literally quintessential 80's. Meet Me Halfway by Kenny Loggins has gotta be one of the greatest 80's theme songs in the world and it nearly chokes me up every time I hear it. It is absolutely true that this film is overly sentimental to me so I am probably reviewing it better than what it might actually be to most. But I simply can't deny the sweet and fun quality of the film. I recommend it to everyone, especially Stallone fans because it has so much heart. Plenty of action and the arm wrestling just makes it even more fun. You can't go in expecting an Oscar worthy classic but just sit back and enjoy because it is simply fun. 9/10
It doesn't take long for Hawk to win little Michael over in his revealing to him, when he's challenged by some muscle bound dude at a local truck stop, his secret life as a big time arm wrestling champ. That together with teaching Michael to drive his 18 wheeler, without a license, down the highway had the boy finally look up to his absentee, for some 12 years, poppa as the man he'd like to be when he grows up! This all turns sour when finally getting to the hospital to see mom Michael finds out that she passed away without him being able to say a final good-by to her! Holding his pop responsible for being too late, by driving to the hospital with his dump truck not flying there with Grandpa, to see his mom alive he suddenly doesn't want to have anything to do with him.
The movie takes another turn for the worst for Hawk when in desperation to see Michael he power drives his rig straight into Grandpa Jason's mansion totally demolishing the place. Gramps declines to press charges against Hawk only if he gets out of both his and Michael's lives which Hawk, in avoiding the slammer, grudging agrees to. Now really on the outs with Michael the only thing left for Hawk to do is win the world champion arm wrestling contest at Las Vegas. That's where the down and out Hawk can finally prove to himself Michael and the world, as well as Grandpa Jason, that he's not the loser in life that everyone says he is. There's also the fact that Michael later finds hundreds of letters, including Christmas birthday and get well cards, from his pop that he sent him over the years that Grandapa hide from him! That proves to Michael that Poppa Hawk was indeed the sweet and caring person that he always told him he was! It also proved that Grandpa Jason wasn't that bright by leaving the letters out in the open, and not burning them, for his grandson Michael to find.
****SPOILERS**** The big final has lots of grunting and grinding among the sweating arm wrestling contestants at the Las Vegas Convention Hall with Hawk, sprained arm and all, taking on all comers as he works his way up to the #1 match with world arm wrestling champ, for five years straight, the 6 foot 4 inch 350 pound Bob "Bull" Hurley played by actual arm wrestling champion Rick Zumwalt. It's then that Michael, who ran away from home, shows up at the tournament together with Grandpa Jason, who's trying to get him back home, which turns out to be the turning point in this earth shattering and arm breaking arm wrestling match! That's by his son Michael giving Hawk the push that he needed to get it "Over the Top" and finally, after all the grunts groans and broken fingers & bones, winning the damn contest!