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‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ (PG-13)

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
February 21, 1992

Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty square off in the buddy comedy "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot," and the longer they go at it the more Stallone looks like Bea Arthur. It is your worst nightmare -- Golden Boy Meets Mombo, the unendurably endearing tale of a hulking bachelor cop cut down to size by his prune-powered shrewish mother. "Stop, Mom, or I Will Shoot" would have been a more appropriate title.

As irksome as it is, the concept is actually better for Stallone than the premises of his earlier awful romps, "Rhinestone" and "Oscar." An action-oriented farce, it allows him to have his beefcake too. Obliged to wear a giant Pampers in one scene, he must have figured he'd get his dignity back when he went one-on-one with a wrecking ball. The big galoot even seems comfortable as the petite Getty's foil.

Getty plays Tutti Bomowski, a feisty elder who pays an unwelcome visit on her son, Joe, a Los Angeles police sergeant who needs to get in touch with his feelings. Tutti interferes in both Joe's personal and professional lives when she becomes the key witness in the murder of a gun-runner. The next thing he knows, Tutti's riding shotgun in the squad car.

Fixing her son's failed love relationship with his boss, Lt. Gwen Harper (JoBeth Williams), becomes another priority when Tutti gets a load of this bimbo in blue. When Gwen isn't throwing hissy fits in the ready room, she is bussing Joe for remembering to send flowers. A preposterously inept career woman, her motto seems to be: So many cops, so little crime. As for the sexual tension between Gwen and Joe, there was more between Turner and Hooch.

Like that man-dog movie, this picture was directed by Roger Spottiswoode, a buddy genre veteran who co-wrote "48 HRS." and directed "Shoot to Kill" and "Air America." It's a workmanlike effort from a workmanlike director, an impersonal action adventure from a mechanical screenplay by Blake Snyder and the guys who wrote "Twins" for producer Ivan Reitman.

Reitman, who helped remold Arnold Schwarzenegger's macho image into a mushier consistency in "Twins" and "Kindergarten Cop," is now helping Stallone find his inner child. Sly has traded in his exploding arrows for a chocolate milk mustache, his waxy steroidism for cutesy cloddishness. Sorry, but you can't turn an Italian stallion into a rocking horse.

"Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" is rated PG-13 for profanity and violence.

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