Friday, May 20, 2011

Over the Top (1987): Amazingly Terrible

There is nothing quite like this movie. Before I even started the movie, I knew three things: the film won two Razzies (the polar opposite of the Oscars), Stallone co-wrote the screenplay, and the movie is based around arm wrestling. Oh man, was I in for a treat. The movie jumps into a relationship between the non-existent father, Stallone, and his thirteen-year-old military- schooled son . Let me ask one question: who wants to see Stallone try to be a father? I want to see Rambo kicking ass or Rocky fighting someone half his age. Putting him as a father figure is downright irresponsible.

So besides the relationship with his son, there is some arm wrestling action. The whole concept of “over the top” is when Stallone contorts his fingers to change the momentum of the match, where Stallone easily beats his opponents. It seems as if this concept is a secret, and takes years of work to master this skill, when all Stallone does is move his fingers up about two inches in his grip.

I don’t want to bash this movie fully, because there are two scenes, which are absolutely incredible. This first scene may be incredibley bad, but nonetheless, incredible. The scene is shot in documentary type cinematography, where Stallone and his opponent in the arm wrestling final are asked questions on video camera. In this scene, Stallone describes his rationale for turning his hat backwards before he starts an arm wrestling match. Surprised Stallone co-wrote the screenplay?

Just like Rocky, Over The Top portrays the same message of the underdog persevering through finding strength from someone they love. This moment is where Stallone becomes an absolute animal. Now this is what I love to see in Stallone- cashing checks and taking names. Do you see how he just bulldozed the body guard through the glass? What about the fact that he uses his drive for his son to beat guys that have at least a hundred pounds on him? Check out the intimidation technique of chugging motor oil. I got a big golf match this weekend, maybe I'll test it out.

I could sit here all day and talk about how terrible this movie is (his son drives to the airport alone at only 13 and not sense of direction), but at the end of the day, Stallone is awesome. No matter what he does, he will always be great.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

In a decade of really bad movies, and I mean bad, this one was near the top.

You found a classic to watch.