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Over the Top (1987)

Director:
Menahem Golan
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Action/Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Over the Top
RUNNING TIME
93 minutes
Producer:
Yoram Globus
Menahem Golan
Screenwriter:
Sylvester Stallone
Stirling Silliphant


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Lincoln Hawk Sylvester Stallone
Jason Cutler Robert Loggia ½
Christina Cutler-Hawk Susan Blakely ½
Bull Hurley Rick Zumwalt
Michael Cutler David Mendenhall

 

Review

From Sylvester Stallone's catalogue of arguably some of the softest films in movie history, Over the Top represents, if possible, the mushiest of them all. This is the ultimate raid on the vault of clichés. What's more impressive is that the screenwriter (Stallone, of course) mostly raids his own vault. Alter a few locations and a few characters (but never the lead), and this dramaturgy is identical to everything Stallone has written and will ever write. Filmmakers who follow the same thematic thread through a career are often said to be auteuristic, but in Stallone's case that is pushing it. There's no fundamental difference between the story of Lincoln Hawk and the story of Rocky Balboa, except that this one is so much worse.

Over the Top is so banally simplified that it defies logic completely. It's the ultimate narrow-sighted, Americanized worldview - the extreme polarization of everything: the intellectual vs. the "workers", rich vs. poor, good vs. bad. In here, everyone isn't just a stereotype - in this universe, everyone is a caricature. And what's worse, Stallone expects these people to evoke emotion in us.

From the stupid custody fight to the moronic arm-wrestle competition, this is complete filmatic waste. To say that Over the Top is over the top would be giving it credit it doesn't deserve. It's more a case of bottom of the pit. I feel sorry for the poor Ray Liotta lookalike of a kid who actually gives this an effort. That might go for director Golam as well, but he is so out of touch with human way of thinking that he doesn't count. Shame on Robert Loggia though, for letting himself get dragged into this project.

Copyright © 20.3.2007 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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