Movie Night: Stop or my Mom Will Shoot

Year: 1992

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Production Company: Northern Lights Entertainment

Leads: Sylvester Stallone, Estelle Getty

stop-or-my-mom-will-shootThis was a strange movie, and I have a feeling it was an attempt to capitalize on Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s foray into family comedies (e.g. Twins). Sylvester Stallone should not do family comedy.

Sylvester is a New York cop in L.A. with everything going for him…until one day his mother decides to visit. Sly obviously has mother issues, because he spends the first twenty minutes of the movie trying to call her – to tell her not to come.

It turns out he can’t stop her. How could he? She’s a New York jew (yes, that’s right; Sylvester Stallone, the Italian Stallion, is playing a jew). She arrives, and of course all sorts of chaos ensues. Never mind that she tries to stick her nose into his love life (with his superior on the force, no less), she also vacuums at three in the morning, makes breakfast for twenty, and washes his gun.

It turns out this is an important plot point, because she tries to make it up to him by buying semi-automatic weapons for him from a truck in a back alley. Unsurprisingly, she ends up witnessing a drive-by shooting, and becomes pivotal in tracking down arms smugglers. She, of course, won’t say anything until her son is put back on the case.

Eventually Sly and his mother begin to reconcile, and when the bad guys capture her, it’s time for him to burst in, guns a-blazing. Sort of. The showdown of the movie involves Sly on the ground incapacitated, and his mother blowing away the bad guy with a gun larger than her head. Oh, and he finally makes it with the captain, and they get married. Or something.

The absolute honest truth is that this movie didn’t have a lot going for it. It’s a shame; Sylvester Stallone is an under-rated actor, and Estelle Getty was reasonably humorous. The problem is that the screenwriters didn’t have the guts to push beyond the comfort zone of stereotypes, clichés and tired one-liners. There weren’t any really bad moments in the movie…there just weren’t any really good ones, either. The cast is entirely predictable; the sexy love interest, the overbearing mother, the over-manly protagonist who can’t express his true feelings, the peer who’s got it out for the good guy, the bad guy bent on smuggling those weapons and getting away with it too, if it weren’t for that pesky mother.

I can’t say it felt like a waste of a movie night, but there just wasn’t anything special about it. Oh well. Better luck next time, Sly.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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