By Christian DiMartino
One of the most respectable qualities about Sylvester Stallone is the fact that the man is more than honest about how he feels towards certain projects. Stallone once told Jonathan Ross that, on a scale of 10, he would rank Rocky V a “0.” Again, at least he’s honest about his blunders. Stallone has a lot of hits, but in the middle of his filmography lies his failures- the ones that really sting. Like Rhinestone. Of all of his films though, Stallone claims that Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is absolutely, positively, the worst.
To second that, yes.
When the title of a movie elicits eye-rolling, it’s clear that the movie is doomed. Then you see the movie, and it won’t take very long to realize that, yes, the movie is in fact doomed. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a film that feels as if the filmmakers had the title, and made up a movie with it as they went along. It also, quite frankly, seems like it could’ve been one of those parody trailers from Tropic Thunder. No, scratch that. It feels like a parody sitcom that you would see in the background of a movie, except where that joke lasts 30 seconds, this movie lasts 80 minutes. You will feel every second. This film is a comedy dead zone. Its characters aren’t particularly interesting, nor is the action comedy plot that they’re thrown into. It’s a movie that might not be as bad as it is deadly dull, but man, is that dullness deadly.
Here Stallone plays police sergeant Joe Bomoski, whose life is turned upside down with the arrival of his mother (Estelle Getty of The Golden Girls), who has an extended stay and tries to help him get his life on track. She buys him a machine gun from the back of a van, she washes his pistol with bleach, and eventually interferes with a case he is involved in, and helps too.
Stallone is capable of being funny, and so is Getty, but neither one of them are funny in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Getty appears to be giving it her all in a last ditch effort to resuscitate this dullard of a dud. Stallone, on the other hand, couldn’t seem more disinterested. This isn’t a Rhinestone kind of bad Stallone performance in which he is trying too hard. Here, he comes across as awkward and watching it, it is easy to get the sense that, like perhaps anyone involved in it, he wanted to get the hell out of there. Funny story: supposedly in the 80’s and the 90’s, Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger consistently tried to steal movie roles from one another. Well aware of this, Schwarzenegger faked interest in the script for this film, which made Stallone really want to do it. Thus, his ego got in the way, and this was his punishment. Considering the performance he churns out here, it’s easy to say that he knew what he was starring in. Again, this is the man who wore a glittery cowboy outfit.
Great as Stallone can be, this film is ultimately a 10-megaton bomb. It’s one-note, and one-joke. The scenario here could have worked, but there is nothing done with it to maintain our interest. The ultimate sin of a bad comedy though is not being funny, and this film is pretty much never funny. It travels in predictable paths for 80+ minutes until it finally relieves us and shares its mercy. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is, without question, Stallone’s worst film because it isn’t funny, it isn’t interesting, in fact, it isn’t anything. Besides terrible.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Let her! Have her point in our direction, so then we won’t have to suffer through this disaster any further. Also, if you’re wondering, yes, this is one of those movies where they say the title of the movie in the movie. Of course it is.