Imagine being trapped in a roomful of hyper actors who won't stop shouting bad jokes until you laugh, goddammit, laugh. A nightmare? No, it's Oscar, a strenuously unfunny farce that stars Sylvester Stallone as Angelo "Snaps" Provolone, a Thirties gangster trying to go straight.
The action icon is understandably eager to show his lighter side, but ham-handed director John Landis (Coming to America) can't channel the energy of his star or anyone else in the large and misguided cast, including Ornella Muti as Snaps's wife and Peter Riegert as his gunsel. Clumsily adapted by Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland from a French play by Claude Magnier, the film takes its name from Snaps's former chauffeur, who makes a brief climactic appearance. Any association between this Oscar and the award is purely a mad daydream.