Picks and Pans Review: P.k. and the Kid

updated 02/29/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/29/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

If anyone asks you what has been the greatest arm wrestling movie of the last few years, choose this recently released 1982 film. It has Sly Stallone's Over the Top beaten, hands down. That's not to say that it's a classic for the ages, however. Molly Ringwald, in her second film, plays a 15-year-old who runs away from home to escape the sexual attentions (and perhaps the atrocious acting) of Alex (The Godfather, Part II) Rocco, her stepfather. She hitches a ride with Paul (Melvin and Howard) LeMat, a Denver factory worker who is headed for the arm wrestling championships in Petaluma, Calif. There are two elements of suspense. Will Rocco, consumed by lust as he tries to track Ringwald down, proposition a gas pump in his desperation? Will LeMat win the championship? Lou Lombardo directed lamely from a vapid script by Neal Barbera, leaving the film to the talent of its two stars. They make something out of not much though, and Ringwald is quietly winning, treating LeMat with a touching innocence that has only glimmerings of seduction about it. Ringwald devotees won't have to be ashamed to show the film to their friends. (PG-13) (Lorimar, $79.95)

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