When I think of cheesy ’80s films and their actors, I think of Sylvester Stallone. Not Rocky I-IV, mind you, but just about everything else he did. There may be some other exceptions but they’re not coming to mind right now. This week’s The Less Desirables Movie of the Week is no different. You’d think it was called K-R-A-F-T. Does cheese make it bad film? Not necessarily. Sometimes cheese in film is like cheese on a sandwich, it makes it better.
The film this week is Over the Top, starring the aforementioned Sylvester Stallone as Lincoln Hawk, a struggling-to-make-it truck driver who makes extra money by competing in arm wrestling contests, be it on a small barroom scale or a massive tournament plane. He has a son, Michael (who uses his mother’s name and not Hawk’s) who is in military school and a total tool; misguided but a tool nonetheless. Michael’s mother, who still loves Lincoln is rich and is the daughter of a big-headed @$$hole played by the incomparable Robert Loggia, has a terminal illness and had sent Hawk to pick up Michael and bring him to see her.
Loggia’s character, Jason Cutler, hates Hawk with all his being and wants his grandson to have nothing to do with him. He has Michael kidnapped, but Hawk gets him back. However, by the time they get to the hospital, Michael’s mother has already passed away. Michael believes having to travel with Hawk, via his truck, made him late to see his mother and disassociates with him at his grandfather’s mansion. So Hawk is arrested for trespassing when he tries to retrieve Michael by using his truck as a ram prow through the gates.
Michael comes to see Hawk in jail and forgives him but wants to stay with his grandfather. Then Hawk runs off to Vegas for the World Armwrestling Championships. Michael has a change of heart after finding years worth of letters written to him in which is grandfather hid. He fights to make his way to Vegas, which apparently, no one notices a pubescent driving a stolen truck on California highways and into Vegas. Anywhat! You can probably figure out how it all ends, standard, par for the course fare for these kind of films.
The soundtrack is pretty good with acts like Robin Zander (of Cheap Trick), Sammy Hagar, Eddie Money, Frank Stallone and the theme song “Meet Me Half Way” by Kenny Loggins. The soundtrack was probably the best part of the film. The cheese factor that I mentioned earlier, well it’s certainly cheesy and no, really, it didn’t make it any better. The film was so-so at best and there was no cinematic breakthroughs, highlights or anything remarkable to even talk about. Now, that being said, it was fun as long as you keep in mind it’s an overall horrible film. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes gives it only 36% approval, if you put stock in that kind of thing.
Overall, I recommend it only from a nostalgic ’80s view, but if you’re looking for cerebral enlightenment? Not so much. The film was directed by Menahem Golan and I watched it on Starz. I rate it 2.5 stars. If you’re so inclined, watch it and let me know your thoughts on the film.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it.” – Lincoln Hawk