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At The Movies: “Stop 3/8 Or My Mom Will Shoot″

February 21, 1992 GMT

Undated (AP) _ Sylvester Stallone in diapers? It actually happens, but it’s part of a dream sequence in which he’s bedeviled by a mother who persists in telling his fellow cops about his diaper rash and other embarrassments as a baby.

It’s the kind of scene you can expect from a movie with a title like ″Stop 3/8 Or My Mom Will Shoot.″ Following the comedy ″Oscar,″ the film is a further step in the mellowing of Stallone in his post-Rambo-Rocky period.

Not that he isn’t allowed some car chases and shootouts. But on many of them he is accompanied by his mom. She is Estelle Getty, the tart-tounged ″Golden Girl″ with the split-second timing.


Stallone is a Los Angeles cop with a reputation for recklessness. He is tough on hoodlums but mushy about his lieutenant, JoBeth Williams, despite an inability to make his feelings known.

Mom is determined to change that. She arrives from Newark, N.J., on a visit that her son dreads. Mom takes over in her single-minded way, cleaning his apartment, running his life and regaling everyone who will listen with tales of her son as a baby.

Getty also gets involved in his career. While trying to buy Stallone a new gun (to replace the one she washed in the sink), she witnesses a gang murder. Mother and son start on the trail of the killers, facing danger at every turn. Yes, ″Stop, or my mom will shoot″ is actually a line of dialogue.

The script by Blake Snyder and William Osborne and William Davies bears the stamp of a committee, with the standard formula of love interest with the cop’s superior, the rival detective, the cardboard villains. Yet, the film is surprisingly diverting. Heck, ″Home Alone″ prospered with equal hokum.

Roger Spottiswoode (″Turner and Hooch″) knows how to milk each situation, even resorting to reaction closeups of mom’s tiny dog.

Stallone has developed into an accomplished comedy actor, knowing to react to situations rather than cause them. Getty has the role of her lifetime, spouting one-liners with fine precision.

″Stop 3/8 Or My Mom Will Shoot″ has a B-picture look with familiar Los Angeles locations and TV actors. Maybe Universal Pictures had little dough left after paying Sly’s fee.

The producers are Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck and Michael C. Gross. Rated PG, with only mild expletives. Running time: 87 minutes.



Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:

G - General audiences. All ages admitted.

PG - Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

PG-13 - Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

R - Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

NC-17 - No one under 17 admitted.