Rat Race (2001) Poster

(2001)

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8/10
Overall Good Movie
msudude226 January 2018
I thought it was a good movie, except for Rowan Atkinson, who I found annoying.
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3/10
Cardinal sin for a comedy
s k21 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Just. Not. Funny. I kept waiting and waiting for something in this movie to tickle my funny bone. I'm still waiting. All I saw were annoying characters and sophomoric attempts at comedy. Not actual comedy. This film struck me as some sort of self-indulgent inside joke, geared more towards the producers than the audience. These are the kinds of films that make one wonder how they ever got green-lighted in the first place.
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9/10
Freakin hilarious
richspenc4 May 2017
This movie is great. The funniness and style of humor is more similar to older style quirky comedies that has become less common in recent years. Since this side of the turn of 2000, unfortunately toilet humor became the more popular choice of film. "Rat race" knew how to be fabulous without being dirty. For anyone who has seen my list of movies reviews on my movie review page will see the large amount of old films on my list. As I just explained, you know why.

From the start at the Las Vegas hotel when ten different people get a specially placed coin from the slot machines having them to meet together in a lounge where the zany humor begins. The terrific selection of actors definitely has helped this film too to being great. Our old 1960s era British veterans favorites John Cleese ("Faulty towers", "Monty Python", and "A fish called Wanda", all hilarious) and Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean"), Whoopie Goldberg (in her best performance since "Ghost" and "Clara's heart"), John Lovitz, Amy Smart as very pretty blonde, Seth Green (who's funny as Scotty in the "Austin Powers" movies), and Brekin Meyer (who somehow got charged for watching 11 hours of porn in his hotel room). Each one of these people are sent on a wild goose chase to Silver city, NM to retrieve 2 million dollars out of a bus station locker.

The hilarity begins immediately and then seldom lets up. For those of you who don't like having aching sides from laughing too much, don't watch this movie. Even funny is John Cleese's very first joking comment about a huge asteroid about to plummet down and wipe out all civilization except for those selected people who will stay in a secured steel underground vault, and it would be up to them to reproduce and bring civilization back (that joke also playing reference to a couple Twilightzone episodes with that theme).

Then the chase begins. Here are some of my favorite jokes. Cleese's funny comment just before everyone takes off on the race, "the race has technically been going for 45 seconds now, and so far that man standing over there is winning since he's the one standing nearest to the door". Mr. Bean falling asleep standing up, then hitching a ride with a guy delivering a heart transplant, and that situation ending up with the heart in a dog's mouth and the transplant driver considering Mr. Bean (who's revealed to have no family) as an immediate replacement heart donor. Seth Green and his buddy who can't talk clearly cause of a tongue piercing (who at one point meets a girl with similar peircing amongst other piercings too) end up with their pickup being dragged up the side of the airport control tower at the end of a rope. The same guys who later on manages to attract a cow on a hot air balloon. Whoopi Goldberg and her sister ordering mimosas (much to the waitreses' delight) and then during the race in a rocket car scene that gets them so disoriented that they end up in an asylum bus just in time for (wow!) macaroni night. The rocket car speeding by a service station while breaking the sound barrier right after the service station manager sarcastically says "dear Lord, if you don't like the way I conduct my business, send me a sign". The same service station guy right before the "dear Lord" sarcasm arguing with Brekin Meyer and Amy Smart about unfair prices and the service station guy saying they're out of sand and Amy saying "What do you mean there's no sand? We're in the desert!". Amy also happened to be a helicopter pilot, has a very funny reaction when she catches her boyfriend from overhead in her chopper cheating on her in his backyard wadding pool. Another very funny part involved Kathy Bates as a squirrel saleslady and an outcome of what shall happen to those who refuse to buy a squirrel. Then the Cuba Gooding jr. and the busload of I love Lucy impersonators (one being a drag queen) and Cuba impersonating a bus driver. Where else would we see again 50 Lucille Balls simultaneously go "helloooo"? One of the very funniest scenes of all was the John Lovitz Hitler scene. He crashes into a WW2 veterans reunion with very coincidental details between accidentally having gotten a car lighter stuck in his mouth, getting black paint the size of a short mustache on him just above his lips, and having borrowed Hitler's car from a Nazi museum. With all that, John unintentionally looks, talks, and gestures just like Hitler to the WW2 veterans. Classic. That one I liked. Also a very funny scene with Lovitz involving a female motorcycle gang right before the Hitler part. Funny enough, as Lovitz has the funniest scene, he also has my least favorite scene with talk about his kids having to go to the bathroom, the term 'prarie dogging' being said, and then what to do about it while on the road. The great scenes though were much much more in quantity than the not so great. This film overall is great and very funny.
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1/10
One of the dumbest movies I have seen.
czilla1388 January 2017
I could only watch a little bit of this move as it got worse, and worse. I can not stand a movie where every single person doesn't have one ounce of common sense. If they were going for slap stick comedy they failed miserably. Maybe if a couple of people were stupid it would have been a better movie, but when EVERYONE lacks any common sense at all just makes it worse. I got the plot of the movie, and it would have worked out very nicely, but the screenwriter, and director just made this a terrible horrible movie to have to sit through. I am glad I caught it on t.v., and didn't spend any money to watch it. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. I do like slap stick, and really did like the "Dumb and dumber" movies, but this one not only fell short, it fell off a cliff.
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7/10
Very silly, but highly watchable
bowmanblue10 October 2016
There are some movies that are too dumb to watch and there are those that are fun to watch because they're so dumb. 'Rat Race' definitely falls into the latter. The plot – or what little there is of one – centres around an eccentric billionaire from Las Vegas (played to perfection by the legendary John Cleese) offering eight strangers the chance to win two million dollars, if they can be the first to reach the briefcase full of loot some five hundred miles away. What follows is your average 'road movie.' Therefore, in the grand tradition of such greats as 'The Cannonball Run' it's basically a series of sketches depicting the exploits of the eight sets of chancers as they lie, cheat and manipulate their way across the American desert in order to claim the money.

It could be just average, but what definitely makes it worth watching is its stellar cast. I've already mentioned John Cleese (who isn't in it enough for my liking!), but you also have such greats as Rowen Atikinson, Whoopie Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr and John Lovitz. With a cast containing that lot it was always going to be better than your average adult comedy. And, yes, it probably is more geared towards adults. Although most of it could actually be suitable for children as well, there are a few scenes here and there that you wouldn't really want to explain to someone younger than a teenager! Some may criticise it for having little 'character development,' but it is a film loaded with different characters and it's not overly long, so it was always going to be geared towards laughs over depth and substance.

Ultimately, Rat Race is the kind of film you can have on in the background while you do some colouring or play with your phone – it won't matter too much that you've missed a bit here and there – you'll still pick up the plot pretty quickly and raise a smile at whatever ludicrous antic is going on. It's certainly good fun if you're not expecting too much and just want a silly giggle. The cast appear to be having fun while they make it and there's no reason you shouldn't either.
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4/10
A Few Moments of Inspired Lucy, er, Lunacy
inspectors7130 May 2016
The disappointing sort-of remake of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Rat Race has lots of familiar faces, but little at which one could laugh at loudly.

Except for two mooments (sorry)--the cow flying about, strung to the hot air balloon, made my wife and daughter wince at the cruelty, but I was in almost hysterics. Jon Lovitz, getting his upper lip splotched with some sort of jam, I think, and landing in a WWII memorial, forelock flapping, little Chaplin mustache in view, and delivering an undecipherable Hitlerian explanation to the GIs why he has just crashed their party was the bright spot in a very dark and dull comedy.

The trouble with Rat Race is that just throws clichéd characters at you and says, "Here, care about them!" The laughs are forced, and except for a few moments of breakout badness, it's fairly vanilla.

In Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, human avarice was on display, and a lot of the humor was also forced, but the grandness of scale just made you to laugh, to care about the characters, to want to know what the "Big Dubya" was.

Here, it's so hurried and soulless that I began to squirm very quickly. When Dave Thomas tells a high-priced hooker what he'd like, I was laughing, but I was relieved when the punchline got pulled and we were able to move on.

Oh, well. Some of the reviewers of this film didn't like the charity ending, and I'll have to admit, I thought it destroyed the cynical nature of the plot, but watching John Cleese, as the billionaire who puts forth the contest to a group of average shrubs to win some serious cash if they can get to a bus locker in Creaking Armpit, New Mexico, was good for a laugh.

One.

Of three.

Not a good average for 112 minutes of movie comedy.
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7/10
Jon Lovitz steals the show!
Predrag9 May 2016
The basic premise is simple - six keys, one locker, and a race for $2 million dollars. The plot has eccentric casino owner Donald Sinclair (a top form Cleese with some rather odd false teeth!), pull together 8 random people whom he gets to race from Las Vegas to New Mexico for a prize of $2,000,000 whilst he takes bets on the outcome. And what a group he has assembled. Mix into that some utterly hammy acting, Nazi Barbies, a cow tied to a hot-air balloon, and a woman intent on selling squirrels, and you've found yourself in the middle of Rat Race. And it's actually not bad. Rowan Atkinson's Italian, with an intentionally ridiculous accent and the line "Oh, a race! ...I hope I win" is frankly a remix of Mr Bean, whilst John Cleese's casino owner is classic Fawlty with extra teeth. But both those characters are classics, and stirred into this film, they become still funnier.

Many of the talents used in 'Rat Race' include Whoopi Goldberg, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson (re-using many aspects of his Mr. Bean persona), Cuba Gooding, Jr., Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, and a plethora of others. There are a few surprises, and the movie takes a lot of unexpected, very funny turns. This is a screwball comedy which simply wants to make you laugh for a couple of hours. It is fluff, but fluff in the best possible sense. Quite enjoyable. I left the cinema with a smile on my face.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.
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6/10
Funny but No Smokey and the Bandit.
Python Hyena19 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Rat Race (2001): Dir: Jerry Zucker / Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Smart, Rowan Atkinson: Comedy that walks a fine line between hilarity and stupidity. It is about motivation and greed. A group of tycoons decide to stage a race where the winner receives a substantial amount of money. People are chosen pending upon those whom find a token in a slot machine. It involves various subplots climaxing with a worthwhile message. Director Jerry Zucker is at best with slapstick humour but this hardly rates up there with Top Secret or Airplane. Some scenes misfire such as the ladies getting into the jet, or a family attempting to communicate with Nazis using sign language. The ending does present a great twist with its message but few of the cast are really funny. Cuba Gooding Jr. is interesting as a former referee who cannot seem to live down a bad coin toss. Seth Green is also funny as a schemer who sees this race as an opportunity. Among the performances that are below par are Whoopi Goldberg who can be a great comic but she overacts in this film. Amy Smart is terrible as a helicopter pilot dealing with boyfriend issues. Rowan Atkinson shows up to waste our time with a Mr. Bean performance under a different name. Car chase films are rarely funny but this one can be credited as a technically well made road kill about the motivation of greed. Score: 6 / 10
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7/10
Underrated ride.
Kings_Requiem24 March 2015
LOL! That is the one term I can come up with that perfectly describes this flick. I haven't laughed this much while watching a comedy in a very long time. Most people will knock this movie because they say it's too over the top or the laughs don't last but I'm here to call "BULLCRAP" on that criticism.

Classic direction, a brilliant script, and one of the best comedic ensemble cast ever assembled come together to create quite possibly one of the funniest movies ever made.

Also be on the lookout for two of the greatest credit sequences ever put to film (you will be cracking up before the actual wild and crazy ride begins).
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8/10
Very well done and hilarious
Ana_Banana24 May 2014
Not knowing the original, I say it's an excellent comedy as for itself, due to its wonderful cast and acting (except Mr. Atkinson's exaggerated Bean antics), inventive script, fast pace, and brilliant filming and editing.

How refreshing is this film when compared to the worn out 'romantic comedy' predictable recipes! There are no leads, no sugarcoating, and no bland themes, but it's a small study on the greed lurking even in the nicest people.

Young actors and film-makers should study this gem, first of all for facial expressions, comedic timing, and editing. We don't see too often those things done so intelligently and naturally, even though they are in such crazy situations. Special mentions for Jon Lovitz, Amy Smart, Lanei Chapman and John Cleese.
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5/10
HILARIOUS stuff
lisafordeay5 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Rat Race is a screwball comedy about these people(Brecklin Meyer from Garfield,Seth Green,Whoppi Goldberg,Rowan Atkinson,Green's on screen friend and Goldberg's on screen daughter,Jon Lovitz,Katy Najamy,and Cuba Gooding JR) who have to go to Silver City New Mexico ,to receive 2 million dollars that's locked up in a locker. Of course since this is a comedy there is A lot of silliness going on including Cuba being lost in a desert as his taxi driver throw him out because Gooding Jr was a failed referee and he meets a bunch of Lucy impersonators,one of them was a transvestite,another where Goldberg and her on screen daughter met a squirrel lady and she sent them to a dead end,Green and his friend trying to stop the plane from leaving and Green's jeep getting tangled up in the signals,the list goes on and on.

Rowan Atkinson was hilarious as an Italian who has a sleeping disorder and he always says Its a race I hope I win and he meets Wayne Knight who's a delivery man who carries a heart for a heart transplant patient that somehow gets lost,and even John Cleese is in this movie as the man who organized the race in the first place.

Overall if you love a screwball comedy with plenty of laughs like Dumb & Dumber(Favourite comedy of all time) than check this out.
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4/10
Crazy and unfunny race.
OllieSuave-0074 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie had the potential to be funny, where a group of billionaires led by a Las Vegas casino owner all made a bet to see which group of six strangers will be able to race from Vegas to Silver City, New Mexico to retrieve $2 million hidden in a locker. The first one to get there gets to keep all of the money.

The plot sounds fun enough, but the movie is basically just a bunch of crazy people pulling stunts and going pathetic antics to try to get the cash. The jokes are childish and stupidly slapstick and the humor is all forced comedy - no substance. It was great to see an all-star cast, but the acting was just below average and the ending was a downer. If you are a fan of Jerry Zucker's comedy spoofs, skip this one and check out his other movies like Top Secret, Airplane and the Naked Gun movies.

Grade D-
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9/10
hilarious movie, strikingly similar to "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"
stevejohnson213 February 2014
I found this to be one of the most falling out of your chair laughing movies in recent memory. The main thing I want to tell people is how close "Rat Race" is to a movie released 38 years earlier, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". I just re-watched IAMMMMW and I'm certain now that Zucker watched it too. I believe he said, "Let's make this movie again, with only 1/10 as many huge comedian stars, and with much funnier stunts and twists." And he succeeded at doing just that. The radar tower stunt, the aviation stunts, the people remotely watching and betting on the racers, and especially the "You should have bought the squirrel" scene are all directly traceable to scenes in IAMMMMW.
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7/10
Better than Average Comedy with a Very Positive and Energetic Cast,
FilmBuff199430 October 2013
Rat Race is a good movie with a pretty good storyline that is without a doubt more original and a lot funnier than a lot of comedies similar to this (Road Trip,Dude Where's My Car,etc) and a very good cast that are funny and energetic from start to finish.The movie was definitely just set up for a lot of funny mishaps between the different,this usually bothers me when the story is set up just for laughs,most of them being visual,but I overall enjoyed in in this,it was fast paced and spaced out the amount of time for each character well.My favourite storyline is either Jon Lovitz,mainly because the dialogue between him and his wife and kids was hilarious and if they had their own Vacation type of movie I would definitely watch it,or Cuba Gooding Jr.,his character was really funny because of how competitive he was and I found the situations he was put in some of the most enjoyable,also it was a very different role him.The only storyline I didn't really enjoy was Whoopi Goldberg and Lanei Chapman,I found their characters irritating (especially Goldbergs) and the situations they were put in to (especially the squirrel one) was just stupid and didn't make me laugh.Rat Race is in no way a perfect comedy,but its fun and different cast should keep many people entertained and many parts are funny enough for you to ignore the parts that wern't.

Wealthy man Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) sets up a race between six groups of people in which the first to make it to a locker in New Mexico will receive $2 million.
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10/10
The funniest movie of all times...
jigsboy27 July 2013
Cannot believe this movie is rated this low. This one deserves to be in the high 8s. We all cannot stop laughing even if we watch the movie over and over again.

Awesome cast - John Clesse, Jon Lovitz, Seth Green, Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld's Newman) were all so hilarious and so made for the role. Bringing such a cast of all time funny men along with Cuba Gooding Jr. would not have been easy but the Director managed to get the best out of them, never missing a beat. 10/10 imho.

My other all time funny movies: 1. Gods must be crazy 2. Its a Mad Mad Mad world 3. Caddyshack 4. Monty Phyton and Holy Grail 5. History of the world / Blazzing Saddles. 6. National Lampoon Vacation 7. Coming to America 8. Ace Ventura / Dumb and Dummer 9. Friday 10. American Pie Series. 11. Hangover Series.

Rat Race is super duper awesome. It is a must must must watch comedy movie. Again something is wrong with this IMDb rating. Borat, a comic for dummies scores 7.3. Go figure !!
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10/10
Super funny movie!
shadrian19836 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
From start to finish I laughed the entire movie. I had abdominal pains the next day from laughing so hard. It is such a super random, non-stop hilarious comedy! Combines gambling, narcolepsy, political (Hitler) comedy, competitive nature of people, etc. So many story lines but doesn't get confusing, keeps it interesting. No gaps in the comedy/story line that leave you bored. You stay interested and laughing the whole entire movie. The best part is when the family is riding in Hitler's car and the comedy that ensues. It really is a super hilarious movie. My second favorite comedy of all time! There are so many great actors and hilarious quotable scenes!
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10/10
one of all time great comedy
Vishnurk721 January 2013
its one of those rare movie which made me cry by laughing.by the last 15min i stopped laughing as it pained my face cos i laughed too much.

there's not much plot,but if u are a fan of plane comedy,u gonna love it.every character in this movie is hilarious.for the first time i saw cuba gooding jr in such a crazy role.my favorite scene is the one with,seth green flies with cow.the scenes have become such a cult that many Indian movies(dhamaal,three kings-malayalam)had copied it.its rare Hollywood e movie which is'nt really age restricted.i saw it with my young brother.its a family movie too.i don't know why it got a <8 vote in IMDb.if u loved movies like bean,around world in 80 days,johnyy English,then u sure gona get crazy.

i alwas wondered why they never made a sequel
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1/10
Poor movie, ridiculous characters, lame jokes and very bad taste
Little_Tyke4 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Toilet humour, a segment that would probably get the movie banned in Germany, and Rowan Atkinson. Plenty of reasons to avoid this movie. It didn't start out well and got worse as it progressed. I managed about 40 minutes and then I'd had enough and switched off. Hollywood just can't do decent movies any more. They're either lame, like this one, or they are extremely violent. Spoilers: The reference to concentration camps was in very bad taste and I doubt whether because of it the movie would ever be shown in Germany. And about 30 minutes in there was a little girl with her backside hanging out of a moving car window doing Number Twos because her father refused to stop the car. Who on earth writes this rubbish?
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8/10
Non-Stop Goofy Laughs
Ben Sweett27 May 2012
A great nutty comedy from start to finish. Didn't start the movie with high hopes but as soon as the race began it got good and fast. A classic comedy in my books and its in my top 10 must see comedies. I recommend it to anyone who likes witty jokes and jackass like stunts. Lots of big time stars makes it hilarious and the movie does a great job of introducing all the characters.

My only complaint is the ending gets a little soft. It has a good morale but has a lot less humour in it than the rest of the movie. Also there was room for more romance between characters that could have been displayed better/more humorously.

Final Verdict: 8/10
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6/10
Plenty of laughs but a weak ending
Tweekums12 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film follows in the tradition of such films as 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' and 'The Cannonball Run' where a cast of mostly well known actors, in this case including Rowan Atkinson, Seth Green, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Whoopi Goldberg, take part in a madcap race with no rules. Here they are racing from Las Vegas to Silver City in New Mexico where a prize of two million dollars awaits the winner. The race has been organised by Casino owner John Cleese who, unbeknownst to the racers is running a book with a bunch of high-stakes gamblers as to who will win. The racers were decided randomly and include very different people; a disgraced football referee, a family on vacation, a narcoleptic Italian, a mother who has only just reunited with her daughter, a lawyer and a couple of dubious characters. The obvious method of transport is put out of commission as all planes are cancelled after an amusing attempt to prevent other racers; this means they must go by land… apart from the lawyer who befriends a helicopter pilot… it is just a pity for him she decides to say hello to her cheating boyfriend on the way. The contestants get into numerous scrapes en route including stealing a bus, a jet-car, a hot air balloon and a car that once belonged to Hitler!

This film contained many laugh out loud moments as well as one or two cringe-worthy moments; unfortunately the final scene fell into the latter category; after all the back-stabbing on the way it was a pity to have such a saccharine ending. The cast did an okay job although I think I can say none of them would consider this their greatest outing. It is a pity that the film contained some fairly crude humour as apart from that it is the sort of film children would enjoy, unfortunately because of those moments a lot of parents won't want their young children watching this.
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8/10
A Semi Remake Of Its A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
kylehaines9625 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After Watching the 1963 film It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World and the 2001 Film Rat Race back to back I started to notice that these movies are very very similar in plots you could almost call this one a remake but in fact it is a semi remake.

The film starts out with introducing the cast which includes Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Breckin Meyer and Amy Smart who are in a competition to New Mexico to be the first to get $2,000,000.

The film is directed by Jerry Zucker and is very hit and few miss. One thing that I hate is the ending. I thought it was complete crap and more ridiculous than the ending of Scream 3. But all in all a very funny movie with creative ideas and A-list cast. Besides the horrible ending, I Say Definitely check this out.

Rated PG-13 For Sexual References, Crude Humor, Partial Nudity And Language.

1hr 52 min/112min.

1 use of the F-word.

***1/2/****
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9/10
"Life is nothing' but a fat, rat race!"
Steve Pulaski23 September 2011
Rat Race doesn't score well in the highest denominator of comedy, but it does score big laughs and big smiles while it runs in circles hectically for almost two hours. Yet again, I revisit another film I idolized as a child. This was probably one of the first "truly adult" films I watched at a very young age. I've mentioned before I watched a lot of inappropriate things as a child, but somethings, left a permanent mark on me as a child and Rat Race is certainly one of them.

Sometimes, people ask me what got interested and familiar with film and I have to say Rat Race. This was the first film that introduced me to all the big named celebrities at the time. Everyone in this film is currently an active celebrity and has a number of movies under their belt, and I knew everyone's name by the second viewing. So, in terms of actors, I can honestly say, this one got me the most familiar with many of them.

The story is on its own medicine; The eccentric owner of a hotel resort named Donald Sinclair (Cleese) creates a new game to entertain the high-rollers of the casino where he will place six golden tokens in slot machines. Whoever gets a token, will be given a key. A key that opens a special locker in a train station in Silver City, New Mexico. In the locker is a duffel bag filled with $2 million. Whoever gets there first, claims the money. Simple as that.

The people involved are played by Breckin Meyer, Cuba Gooding Jr., Amy Smart, Jon Lovitz, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth Green, Lanei Chapman, and Vince Vieluf. Clearly, nothing shy of an ensemble comedy cast. After the rules are explained, the gang runs around like rats in a maze doing everything they can to get from Vegas to New Mexico as quickly as possible.

As one can imagine, they run into nothing but sticky, and undeniably hilarious, situations which causes grief on their part. It's classic laugh-at-someone-else's-misery-comedy executed very well. The film sort of mixes classics like Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Scavenger Hunt. Both films involved run of the mill situations, and characters struggling to make the next move half the time.

The only downside here, is the film gets carried away with itself. It's a bit too contrived, and very coincidental. But in a way it has to be to keep the comedy and action at a consistent level, and the irony and fun existing. Despite its own medicine being a bit too strong, Rat Race combines a great score along with it. The music in this film matches pitch perfectly to the stressful scenes, and the tense atmosphere these characters are clearly occupying.

Also equipped with delightful cameos, hilarious little side-stories, one of the best opening intros in recent memory, and an unexpecting and cherished end scene that shows even when consumed with greed and self-absorption that people are still likely to do admirable things, Rat Race is nothing shy of funny and well-made comedy. The audience it will attract is interesting because it can be fans of a good cast, fans of craziness in films, fans of classic cinema, fans of just good films, or a combination of every type. It's a universally appealing film that stands out for more than just its actors, but its message and its execution is all just remarkable.

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Kathy Najimy, Lanei Chapman, Vince Vieluf, Dave Thomas, Wayne Knight, Kathy Bates, and Dean Cain. Directed by: Jerry Zucker.
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Very Funny Underrated Movie
simonajroberts14 July 2011
When I picked up this movie at the video store I had no idea what the movie was about. The cast is excellent and there are so many hilarious scenes. You have to relax and don't be too judgmental, its just a simple feel-good funny film. I've ended up watching it about 5 times and it still makes me laugh. Actually I think it was funnier the second time round. The Jewish family on the road that end up in the 'Barbi' museum thinking its about dolls. Turns out its a far right wing museum to commemorate the life of Klaus Barbie. They end up escaping by stealing Hitlers Mercedes and crashing into a WW2 veterans parade.I fell off the sofa laughing at that scene.It's a shame that it wasn't more highly rated by the critics, but its one of those sleeper movies that seems to improve with age.Highly recommended.
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9/10
Should... Have... Bought... A.... Squirrel!
BA_Harrison10 April 2011
Rat Race is one of those eccentric capers in which a bunch of crazy characters (usually played by a whole host of familiar faces) risk life and limb to compete for a fortune; in this case, the prize is $2million dollars stashed in a railway locker in Mexico City, the contestants are those lucky enough to win special tokens from slot machines in the casino belonging to wealthy Las Vegas gambling magnate Donald P. Sinclair (John Cleese), and the rules are simple—whoever gets to the money first keeps it!

The formula is as old as the hills, having started back in '63 with It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and continued through the 60s, 70s and 80s with films like The Great Race, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, The Cannonball Run and Scavenger Hunt; in less experienced hands, this kind of thing can easily fall flat on its face, but director Jerry Zucker is a man with a degree in zany from the University of Madcap, and with an incredible cast and a script that fires witty one-liners like a belt-fed machine gun, he delivers one of the finest ever examples of this comedy sub-genre.

Of course, this kind of comedy is far from sophisticated, a relentless series of zany events and visual gags that escalate in madness as the competitors get closer and closer to their goal, and as such, it isn't going to appeal to everyone (people who think that The Royal Tenenbaums is funny, for example). On the other hand, those of us who can appreciate the magnificent sight of a cow suspended from a hot air balloon or the genius of a Jewish family mistakenly visiting a Klaus Barbie museum will have an absolute blast.

Rowan Atkinson is absolutely brilliant as a Latin Mr. Bean with narcolepsy; Kathy Bates is unforgettable as the crazy squirrel woman; Whoopie Goldberg and Lanei Chapman break the land speed record in a rocket car (funnier than it sounds); Vince Vieluf and Seth Green play dumb beautifully; and Amy Smart has a great butt (I know that's not relevant to the comedy, but I just had to mention it).

The film loses a point for a rather unsatisfying finalé (matters come to a head at a charity gig headlined by pop rockers Smashmouth—remember them?), but overall this is a fine comedy, one that benefits from excellent repeat value and a whole shed-load of quotable dialogue.
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7/10
A very entertaining 3/4 of a movie
sean-42129 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The premise behind the movie is a chase across the country to win $2 million dollars, and the lengths to which people will be driven due to greed. Wisely, relatively little time is spent setting up the pieces on the board, and the pacing is brisk to move from joke to joke quickly. A solid ensemble cast and lots of novel ideas make this cross-country race very entertaining and engaging just about all the way through. Just do yourself a favour and turn it off when the band Smashmouth appears, because the ending is unnecessarily moralistic and preachy, and takes the fun out of the rest of the experience. These are not characters we are meant to like, so why should we care if they learn a lesson, in an unconvincing way to boot? Maybe with a bit more shamelessness this would have been a total triumph, but as it is this is an example of the journey being more important than the destination. All told there is too much hilarity to write it all off based on the ending. Just turn it off at Smashmouth.
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