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Ya Likable Lug

February 22, 1987|Pat H. Broeske

The critics have been sooooo mean to Sly on "Over the Top": They went mano-a-mano with its arm-wrestling theme. They poked fun at the script (especially Sly's line, "It's OK to lose, as long as you lose like a winner") and even counted product tie-ins.

But guess what? Not everyone hated the pic!

The S.F. Chron's Mick LaSalle, for one, gave it what amounts to a rave with: "Easy stuff to make fun of, sure. But when you're in the theater and Stallone wins his first arm-wrestling bout, your fist flies up in the air and you have to stop yourself from yelling 'All right!' Stallone has a gimmick, but it's an effective gimmick."

And then there were those critics who voted thumbs down on the pic, thumbs up for--would you believe--Our Hero's performance:

"No denying that Stallone has presence. . . . Though his low-keyed trucker-of-few-words performance seems more suited to Lenny in 'Of Mice and Men,' it is a reminder of just how good the guy was in a sweet little movie called 'Rocky.' "--Richard David Story, USA Today.

"Sly's performance is his most appealing since Rocky Balboa's ego started getting as big as his pectorals. . . . It's a very pleasant change of pace to see a Stallone movie that doesn't make you want to rush right out for a species-change operation"--Michael Burkett, Orange County Register.

"Stallone, when he isn't flexing his biceps or mugging too crudely, is more than likable. Playing a character whose goal is human--like winning a son's love--Stallone's underdog common man is not without its charm"--Kirk Honeycutt, L.A. Daily News.

To be expected, some critics found it tough to say something nice without jabbing Sly. Like the Denver Post's Michael Healy, who declared: "If you like this sort of thing, you'll like this thing, sort of. Stallone himself could have written that line."

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