Rat Race (2001)
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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.
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.
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.
Not a good average for 112 minutes of movie comedy.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !!
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.