In the same spirit as Rocky comes this power driven film starring and co written by Sly Stallone and featuring music by Frank Stallone.
“Over the Top” Is a heart felt story about a trucker who gets involved in a grueling custody battle over his only son. Moreover, it’s also a tale of a man’s path to the arm wrestling world championship.
Cross country trucker Lincoln Hawk (Sly Stallone), sits behind the steering wheel of a massive diesel machine. His life is the road and the road is long and lonely. Hawk has firm control of the wheel, but his life has been steered off course and now is his last chance to pull it back over, over the top.
In Hawk’s world, a man’s only as good as the workload he can handle, respect comes from the hardest of hard work, and everything has to be earned by breaking your back.
Men like Hawk have to rely on their muscle and hustle to make ends meat, but unlike a lot of other guys, Hawk has a strong heart that begs out for a family. He misses his son more than anything and regrets the mistake he made many years ago when he left. The movie begins as Hawk reunites with his son, and takes him on tour. During their trip together, Hawk tries to rebuild his son’s trust in him, and establish the paternal bond, but it proves to be no easy task as it turns out theirs still a lot of resentment.
The movie is pretty much a drama on wheels, about parenting, family, and surviving together: making each other stronger.
A lot of exciting and emotional scenes show up in this film, like the scene where the son tries to run away, or when they spend the night together in the truck.
I really like the scene that has a small but sweet montage of a morning exercise with the sun rising in the background, this is where the soundtrack really begins to shine, and highlights the tenderness of the film. You feel a sense of pride and connection from father and son being on the open road together. Its scenes like those that really pull the viewer in and show them that it’s not just another beat ‘em up action flick, like a lot of Van Dame or Segal’s stuff. It definitely has character and compassion.
In a great scene with father encouraging his son to take the wheel, Stallone actually shows a pretty good sense of humor. It’s a beautiful moment when the boy realizes that doing isn’t as easy as it looks, and there’s a great satisfaction that comes from taking control. Apparently that’s something no one else had taught him, just like a father teaching his son to ride a bike for the first time, and there are continual moments like that.
There are a lot of good quotes, most notably when Hawk says to his son,
“The world meets nobody halfway, and you gotta do what’s best for you.” This is what the story is all about. This message sells it. It’s a very strong message that carries itself through life, and reflects Stallone’s character. He realizes that a big part of being a good father is being a good teacher. This is the reason his wife wanted the boy to be with his dad, she knew it was best, for both of them, to grow.
The movie really kicks up the intensity when Hawk looses his son, and has to go it alone in Vegas where he competes to win a brand new truck and 100 grand in a championship arm wrestling tournament.
The arm wrestling in this film is no joke. The team hired some big names to perform including the AW multi time world champion, John Breznek who has a small but noticeable scene. There were some really unique and interesting characters specifically designed for the film, and they play out fantastically well on screen, just like a pro wrestling show you might watch, each guy has his own style of intimidation. Heck, the movie even features Hall of Fame Wrestler, Terry Funk.
I’m not surprised there are so few movies about arm wrestling. I admit it’s definitely not the most popular or respected form of athletic competition, but, if there can only be one arm wrestling movie I’m glad it’s this one. I don’t think you could possibly film better AW scenes
Its nostalgic as an 80s film and really stands out as some of Stallone’s best work right along side Rambo, and Rocky. The 80s was a time that really glorified the body and this movie fits right in with all the hoopla.
I believe it does a great job of highlighting the sport and its enthusiasts. I also feel like it encouraged a lot of people to discover the sport. It’s great to have a film like this that not only promotes arm wrestling and applies it to life, but makes for a wonderful father and son story. This movie is a tremendous example of the how success is not limited to resources, and that achieving a higher goal is possible through hard work, and determination.