And it’s pretty obvious that Stallone had a hand in the script because he gives his character the name Lincoln Hawk.
Now Lincoln desperately wants to win the affection of his 12-year-old son, Mike, who just graduated from some sort of military school. We don’t know all the details but Lincoln left his wife and son back in the day. Now that she’s sick and in the hospital, Hawk’s wife wants her son to get to know his father by driving across the country with him in a big rig. Hawk’s father-in-law — played by Robert Loggia, who always will be the crusty old general in “Independence Day” to me — hates Hawk and doesn’t want Mike anywhere near him. He wants custody of the boy so he can continue to turn him into some sort of preppy douche bag.
Personally, I think the general is crazy. Hawk’s totally a responsible parent. After all, at various points in the movie he:
- Turns over control of his tuck and its precious cargo of Brut to his 12-year-old son.
- Forces said son to engage in a pick-up arm wrestling match with a mulleted teenage pinball ruffian at a truck stop.
- Allows his son to be kidnapped while he’s inattentively talking on a pay phone.
- Rams the gate of his father-in-law’s house with his truck, drives all over the lawn, knocks down the front door and then, with his son watching, gets in a physical confrontation with security guards.
Like I said, the old man’s nuts. Give the man custody of a child.
There isn’t a whole lot of action in the traditional sense in this movie. Nobody is killed and there are only four beatdowns — two of them by Sly. But there is a whole lot of arm wrestling action. Thirty-nine matches to be exact. Based on my research — which consists of watching this movie — if you a.) turn your hat backwards, b.) regrip at the moment your opponent seems to have you on the ropes and c.) scream “over the top!” you will be unbeatable at arm wrestling.
And you’ll never guess who’s really good at arm wrestling … Lincoln Hawk! He’s so dedicated to the “sport” that he lifts weights while he’s driving his truck and engages in intense sunrise workout sessions next to his truck. Who smells a montage?!
Anyway, this story has a happy ending for everyone. Well, except for Mike’s mom. She dies on the operating table. But other than that, things work out just fine. Hawk wins the world title, beating Bull, played by real-life arm wrestling hot shot Rick Zumwalt, in the final. As a result, he wins the grand prize of a brand new big rig truck, which is convenient since he sold his old one to bet on himself.
And he also wins the love of his son, who I think is kind of a little bitch. But it’s a happy ending nonetheless. Good for you, Lincoln Hawk.
Yes, this movie is cheesy and absurd. And yes, there’s very little of the action we here at LAH generally demand. But this movie is so ridiculous that it’s great. I award it two and a half Steven Seagals, if nothing else because it is responsible for launching Zumwalt’s acting career and propelling him all the way to a guest spot on “Full House.” Jackpot, Rick.