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Over the Top

1987 film directed by Menahem Golan

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Rocky V and a half?

  • Dec 10, 2010
  • by
After seeing the Rocky movies and finally this, one of Stallone's many attempts to gain some notoriety outside of his Rambo and Rocky characters, I can only wonder if this is something he was tinkering around with as a potential Rocky film but decided to rework it so he didn't have to go to the well again.

Why?  Well, Stallone is a working stiff in the movie with a son whos distant from him, Stallone makes speeches about the world not giving into you and working hard for what you want and it culminates with Stallone taking on a big tough guy and on top of that, theres a sick mom.  Seriously, plug this into the Rocky series in after the 5th movie and give it a rewrite and I bet you'll be surprised.

As it is, Over The Top has Stallone starring as a truck driver named Lincoln Hawk who left his wife and son years ago.  The son isn't happy to see Hawk and the Grandfather definetely isn't but as a favor to his ill ex wife, Hawk has come home to try and bond with his son.  Lincoln makes his living as a truck driver but supplements his living by arm wrestling other truckers.  Slowly but surely Stallone and son bond but circumstances force them apart and Stallone uses money from selling his truck to enter a big money arm wrestling competition in Vegas where he bets on himself to win a whole lot of money and a really big semi as part of the winnings.

This movie has a lot of problems.  One is the kid.  He's a brat.  Yeah you can understand him being distant and stuck up having been going to Military School and thinking his dad is a deadbeat but he goes from loving him to hating him at the drop of a hat.  In between that you have the evil Grandfather played by Robert Loggia.  He's wealthy as hell and, well that makes him better then Stallone, I guess.  The son drops something about Hawk selling drugs but it's quickly dismissed.  Loggia also gets points for hiring real life wrestling legend Terry Funk as a body guard.  I guess a third is arm wrestling.  Now I don't know how serious a sport this was or if it still is, and if it's still televised I can only assume ESPN FIVE is the one that airs it, but It's a little harder to mine drama out of two guys grunting and making gutteral faces as they well arm wrestle.  I guess another is the film's tagline "The fight for his life"  HUH?  Stallone isn't being hunted in this movie!  Worst comes to worst he just needs to get a job as a trucker again and he can do that!  What a stupid line.  Yet, in spite of all of this.  I did kind of like the movie. 

As corny as this was, it did make nice light entertainment.  The kid is a pain sure and I think some things could have been worked on.  Want an arm wrestling movie?  Cool put more arm wrestling in it.  Want to make it more of an action film?  Lets have more action.  There are no guns that I remember but there is an action beat here and there.  Make it more about Stallone and the son, again the son needs to be more likable instead of someone we merely sympathize with and focus the strength on that but in the end, Over The Top is a mess.  At least I'll always have Norm McDonald from Saturday Night Live's line to Sly in a skit that they did together:

"Yeah Kramer vs Kramer, that was a good movie about child custody, but you know what it was missing?  ARM WRESTLING!"
Rocky V and a half? Rocky V and a half?

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December 10, 2010
I thought this one was just straight 80's fun, from all the corny lines to the actual song with the title of the film in it, "OVER THE TOP".
December 10, 2010
LOL! great review and love that headline! You just reminded me to see THE FIGHTER.
More Over the Top reviews
Quick Tip by . December 10, 2010
Corny and disjointed movie about child custody, truck driving and arm wrestling. Has the distinct feeling of being the missing film between Rocky V and Rocky Balboa.
review by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      OVER THE TOP      There have been many movies about sports but I don't know of to many about arm wrestling, this one is. This is your classic 80's movie with an over the top [meant to say that] pop rock soundtrack and cheesy lines, man I love em. Also this is your typical Sly Stallone film with an inspirational message and all about over coming the odds. I know what you are thinking that is every Sly flick, but hey it is Sly. When we watched …
review by . December 29, 2009
This movie has nothing to do with the Motorhead song.
Over The Top is a real cheesy and sappy movie about a dumb-as-a-bag-of-rocks trucker named Lincoln Hawk (Sylvester Stallone) who also happens to be an professional arm wrestler (yes, this movie was made during the brief arm wrestling craze of the mid-80's). Hawk learns that while he's on the road heading towards the big wrasslin' tournament that his estranged ex-wife Christina is gravely ill (Susan Blakely who gives a bedside performance with the zest and gusto of a real cancer patient) and she …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


The movie was made during the brief Arm Wrestling craze.
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Director: Menahem Golan
Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure
Release Date: February 13, 1987
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Cannon Films
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