Golden Arm sounds like the movie fans clamoring for an Over the Top sequel have been waiting for. The buddy comedy is set in the competitive world of women’s arm wrestling. Melanie (Mary Holland) is a timid baker whose trucker friend Danny (Betsy Sodaro) has roped her into taking her spot at the Women’s Arm Wrestling Championship. But in order to defeat the reigning champion, Melanie is going to have to endure some heavy training.
Holland and Sodaro carry the predictably thin story. There is great chemistry between the two and the strong friendship between Melanie and Danny jumps off the screen. The downside is when they are not onscreen, it is noticeable, but this rarely happens. Golden Arm is filled with goody fun that works well thanks to its likeable characters.
This does not hide the fact that Golden Arm is strictly paint by numbers. The plot never makes an attempt to catch the audience off guard. It is very content to let its leads do all the heavy lifting. Nowhere is this more evident than in the pacing. By the time the second act comes around, things slow down due to Holland and Sodaro having little help to progress the plot. The leads to a final act that feels rushed and sloppy.
That being said, Golden Arm has a wonderful atmosphere. A sense of charm and fun permeates the film. The story never takes itself too seriously and just lets the audience have fun. The film ends up highlighting the importance of strong casting. Films are able to work even when they do not have the most original story. However, the audience needs something to latch on to in order for this to happen.
Golden Arm follows a cookie cutter plot that has been used for decades. It is easily accessible and can be very good when done right. that This makes it inoffensive but also unmemorable. Holland and Sodaro inject the energy needed to make this enjoyable.
Golden Arm will be in theaters and on digital on April 30
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