Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) — No regrets here, no sir

“Go ahead! Make your bed.”

Justin’s rating: This one’s for you, mom!

Justin’s review: I think it’s safe to say that every conceivable and imaginable cop buddy pairing in the universe has seen the flickering light of cinema. You got your family-oriented black cop teamed with a crazy white one. A normal cop with an alien one. Cop with a kid. Cop with a dog. Cop with a cyborg. Cop with a dead guy. Straight cop and gay cop. Old cop, young cop. Cop and con. Martial arts expert and loudmouth. Cop and intelligent car. Party cop and ultra-serious cop. Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah.

It’s done, it’s over, it’s tired, it’s kaput.

Except, of course, it’s not. For some reason, Hollywood gets the craving to start rubbing up against the leg of the cop buddy genre every six months or so, and then several interns die from brain aneurysms trying to come up with a pairing that hasn’t been done yet. In 1992? It was all about Sylvester Stallone and his little old mother.

It was titled Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, which is an actual line of dialogue uttered during the course of the movie. I think small children and some of the more intelligent species of weasels were able to see this crash-and-burn approaching, although it clearly escaped Stallone’s omniscient gaze.

Listen, if a Hollywood suit comes up to you — you, the guy who has two of the biggest action franchises of all time under your belt — and he utters the words “We want you to be a dopey cop who’s browbeaten by his little old mother played by Estelle Getty,” then you are fully within your rights to reach into that little snake’s mouth and pull out his malevolent forked tongue until it snaps and rolls back like a window shade. You do NOT go, “Hm, sounds like a good idea” and then go on to tank your ocean liner of popular credit on the iceberg of lame comedy.

Stallone was not, nor ever has been, built for straight-up comedy. I like the guy plenty enough, and he did get a few ironic laughs in Tango and Cash and Demolition Man. But while those movies are first and foremost action pieces, Stop! is primarily a comedy with some light cop antics thrown in for aftertaste.

Like all cop buddy flicks, this one pairs up our Wacky Couple (Joe and his mom) right before a big crime thing goes down. Do you need the details? Do you care? It doesn’t really matter, as most all of the movie’s torturous scenes are elaborate variations on the “Joe tries to do normal police stuff while his batty mom interferes and frustrates him.” Getty, looking little and old (those are her primary assets to every movie or TV production she’s been in), is ham-handed in her clueless meddling, which makes it hard to root for her antics. This, Stop! lacks even the decency of a single laugh, making the film’s viewing more of a trial run for any upcoming corporate meeting than actual entertainment.

However, there’s no reason why this dismal failure of cop comedy should be quickly lumped in with the “all time worst movies.” It’s fairly straight-forward and edited properly, its wahh-wahh horn soundtrack is helpful in letting you know when you are supposedly amused, and it’s neither vile nor gratuitous. It’s merely a waste of cinematic resources, which in some countries (L.A.) is a crime punishable by public mocking.

Didja notice?

  • Awesome animated opening credits there
  • I was being sarcastic with the word “awesome”
  • He shoots six shots at the hanging sign’s chain from 100 yards away, and ALL SIX hit
  • I’ve always wanted to see Sly Stallone in his briefs. Didn’t you?
  • He keeps a loaded gun in his laundry basket?
  • It’s Toby from West Wing as a gun dealer. That’s a tad ironic.
  • And now Stallone in diapers. AHHHH!
  • Hehe he got a swirlie
  • Oh my goodness… he actually uses the movie’s title as a dialogue line

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