Monday, October 11, 2010

No, YOU meet ME Halfway -- Conclusion

Last Friday, I ran long and had to extend the Liveblog of Sylvester Stallone's Over The Top. Who could have imagined there'd be so much stupidity in an 80s arm wrestling movie that the cutoff point would come at 0:27:15? I vow, however, that the movie's final hour will be covered in this post and I will not obsess over every little piece of stupidity. When we left Stallone's Lincoln Hawk, he was teaching his 10 year old son to drive his 18 wheeler. On a public highway.

0:28:15 -- JESUS CHRIST, HE'S ACTUALLY LETTING THIS LITTLE BRAT DRIVE THE TRUCK. Luckily, only eight people died. Man, I only lasted one minute. I feel like I'm in high school again.

0:39:00 -- After initiating young Michael into the family arm wrestling business by having him beat some kid with Daryl Hall hair in some low rent diner, Linc takes his eyes off the kid just long enough for a couple of guys hired by the boy's grandfather to grab him. Don't worry though. This is the 80s so it was perfectly acceptable for Linc to run down the pickup truck the thugs were driving and ram it with his young, unseatbelted son inside. I don't think I mentioned this before but the boy's mom is really sick and she just got off the phone with Linc weakly saying that, no matter what happens, Mike should stay with him. The ever sharp Linc responded by saying he couldn't wait to see her. Yeah, should be quite a reunion.

0:49:00 -- I'm sure you will all be shocked to hear that Mom died before they got there. In a moment of grief, Mike runs back to rich Grandpa Robert Loggia. In an act that is sure to let any custody judge know that Linc really has his whole personal thing together and that he's ready to raise young Michael, Linc rams the gate of Grandpa's palatial mansion with his truck. When Linc and Cutler (Grandpa) confront each other, it's a contest between Stallone's solemn non-acting, a feat Stallone was only just then mastering and still masterfully does to this day, and Loggia's bulging-forehead-vein overacting. Loggia is wealthy so he wins and Linc is carted off to jail.

1:00:00 -- In a jail where, for some reason, Stallone is the only one sweating, Linc is told that Cutler won't prosecute if he leaves the state. Failing to have been seduced by Linc's life of eating greasy truck stop ribeyes and sleeping in a truck, Michael tells him that here, at least, he has a home. Linc tells the boy that the world doesn't meet anyone half way, a piece of advice guaranteed to make him a huge success just like his father, does the thing you and I would do. He goes to the World Arm Wrestling Championship in Vegas, sells his truck and bets the proceeds on himself. Meanwhile, Mike finds some letters Linc had written to him over the years and, following in Dad's footsteps, steals his grandfather's 4X4 and drives from Bel Air to Vegas to watch Linc arm wrestle.

1:01:00 -- There's currently an arm wrestling montage made very cool by the movie's theme song sung by Sammy Hagar. The video in that link includes Stallone's stick-up-the-ass look that indicates he's ready to arm wrestle.

1:14:00 -- After the announcer informs everyone 20 times that this is a double elimination competition and that you have to lose twice to be eliminated, Linc shockingly loses a match BUT DON'T WORRY, THE ANNOUNCER SAYS, BECAUSE YOU CAN LOSE TWICE. While waiting for his next match, Cutler offers Linc a new truck and $500,000 to get out of his life. Linc turns down cutler's offer with some macho version of "Pshaw!" Meanwhile, Michael is still making his way to Vegas, a city which, judging by all the signs and monitors showing the match, now seems to have an economy based entirely on arm wrestling.

1:33:00 -- Oh darn, the movie's over but, on the bright side, the movie itself makes us very happy that it's over. Michael has previously unknown ninja powers as he eluded his grandfather and got past the elite arm wrestling championship security to find Linc just before he's going to fight 5 time undefeated arm wrestling champ Bull Hurley (the evil arm wrestler I mentioned last Friday). Linc's forgotten all that crap he was saying about not giving up and instead embraces the philosophy that has made him a broke truck driver by pretty much giving up. All he needed, of course, was a pep talk from a 10 year old to get him back in the ring. Bull Hurley is bigger, stronger and a much better and more experienced arm wrestler. It's a shame there isn't some historical precedent in Stallone's career that would tell us if Sly's character has a chance against this guy so we'll just have to wait till the match is over to see if he does. Long story short, Linc wins and he and Michael do the dance joy. Loggia's character saw this and his heart grew three sizes that day as a dozen years of hatred for Lincoln Hawk were swept away at the sight of Hawk's steroid ridden body holding both the trophy and his grandson. As Linc and Michael drive off in Linc's new truck (one of the arm wrestling prizes), we are played out by a forgettable band playing a forgettable 80s movie song called "Take It Higher" as I attempt to forget I ever saw this movie. That is a goal I'll probably achieve.

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