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Rat Race More at IMDbPro »

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Really Funny Stuff

Author: EdYerkeRobins from Sunland, CA
22 March 2002

Jerry Zucker is responsible (as writer, producer, or director) for some of the funniest movies of all time – from the lewd, crude, and rude "Kentucky Fried Movie", to "Airplane", to the TV series "Police Squad" and its film spin-off "Naked Gun". "Naked Gun"'s sequels began a comedic downfall, which continued for a decade, until 2001's "Rat Race".

"Rat Race" is, quite simply, hilarious. Like any Zucker film, its presentation is rapid-fire joke after joke, in totally unrealistic situations tied together by a plot thin enough to let them go off into absurdity but with just enough substance to be able to bring them back together at the end (and what a positive-vibed ending! I'd call it implausible but in this film that's a moot point. It really does make one's day though). "Rat Race" definitely has this down, as long as one checks their brain at the proverbial door. Not every joke works, and most are surprisingly clean (but risky clean – particularly a gag involving accidental Hitler impersonation at a WWII veteran's celebration), but the fact is most work, and this has one of the best laugh-to-joke ratios in a long time. It even bests what I have seen of Zucker's earlier work (everything except "Kentucky Fried Movie").

Though I personally thought the film was hilarious, it is easy to see the other side of the issue. The reason these situations are so funny are because they come totally unexpected and totally absurd; knowing what happens I doubt I would laugh at it all again. Some of the situations, upon close inspection, reveal themselves as annoying (Lucy's, I'm looking at you, though I realize they were intended to be annoying) or too stupid to work more than once (what's up with the squirrel lady?). There never seems to be enough of the most enjoyable characters – the brothers Seth Green and Vince Vieluf, and "Mr. Bean". Though these are valid points, they are the same points that can be made about any Zucker film. For what it is, there are no major flaws with "Rat Race", but if you don't like what it is, then you simply will not enjoy "Rat Race".

It's difficult for me to review comedies because they're either funny or they're not. If they're funny bravo, if not they're a failure. Though I never tested to see how well it holds up through multiple viewings, "Rat Race", thankfully, is funny for at least one viewing, and quite possibly more.

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Sounds Funnier Than It Is

Author: Denver53 from Denver, Colo.
22 March 2002

If you were to listen to someone describe the list of characters in "Rat Race," you might think the movie screams with laughter. It doesn't.

While some concepts are initially promising (a dumb guy who has trouble speaking because his tongue is pierced, an NFL referee who is hated by many after blowing a coin toss, a Jewish family man who hates Nazis so much he still won't buy a VW), the execution is dull. None of these characters really does anything especially funny. They are just quirky. And you spend a lot of time wondering at the set-ups, like why does this Jewish guy associate the VW with Nazis of 50 years ago? What exactly did the ref do that determined the outcome of a game if it was only a coin toss (wouldn't a blown call in the end zone make more sense?)? Why does this pierced tongue guy have trouble speaking when so many others with pierced tongues don't?

Other characters are simply one-joke wonders (the actor who used to play Mr. Bean is a mugging narcoleptic) or just inexplicable (a career woman is traveling with her more laid back mom [Whoopi Goldberg]). The concept of a "Lucy Impersonator Convention" is worth a laugh the first time you see all the Lucy's, but repeated material that shows all the Lucy's crying like Lucy did when things went wrong gets old, fast.

In the end, only the usually frenetic pace keeps Rat Race from becoming a bore. John Cleese and his group of unnamed gamblers who wager on almost anything is a funny bit. And if you like scatological humor, the concept of "prairie dogging," which I had never before heard in this context, is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud moment.

We gave Rat Race a 6, because it tried hard and because of Cleese.

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Have you seen this room

Author: Cappy-08 from Canada
20 March 2002

What a beautiful room, have you seen this room? HAHA great comedy by the man that brought us baseketball! Rowan atkinson's character is hilarious! Definitely recommended! amazingly funny!

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Funniest film I've seen in a long time!

Author: crlane from Whitehorse, Canada
20 March 2002

This movie never let's you come up for air! The gags just keep on coming! Each and every scene is so much fun, you would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Every actor in this film is a Master comedian in their own right, so to have them all in one film is a real treat. I haven't laughed that hard in years!

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Author: piggytails from Utah, United States
20 March 2002

I heard about this movie from my Aunt who lives in Las Vegas. She told me that if I would rent this movie and watch it she could insure that I would not stop laughing through every scene. My husband and I rented it that night and laughed hysterically all that night and throughout the next few days. Just thinking about scenes from the film made us crack up again and again. Only two days after seeing the movie for the first time, we ran out and bought it on DVD. This movie is a classic comedy and we knew we just had to add it to our collection of other classics! Congrats to the writers on a premo film!

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Funniest Movie

Author: spektr from Dallas, TX
18 March 2002

Hilarious movie.

Did not see it at theatres because the critics panned it. I should have ignored them (I remember when Rhona Barrett trashed Star Wars on Good Morning America) and seen Rat Race. Instead, waiting until DirecTV.

A laugh every few minutes, constantly throughout the movie.

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Author: jrsuperior from Michigan
16 March 2002

2/10---This is the quintessential movie that puts all the best stuff in the trailer. Zucker had a bunch of talent but couldn't bring it together. Definitely not his best work. If you get sucked into renting this because you remember the trailer being funny in the theater, check out the gag reel in the special features on the dvd, most of the laughs are there.---2/10

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Too few laughs

Author: Stefan Tetelepta from Holland
9 March 2002

I really was disappointed when i saw this movie. For a Zuckermovie there where too few laughs. And with this cast it should have been better. Missed chances.

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Absolutely Funny

Author: pdjudd from Minnesota, USA
3 March 2002

I went into this film expecting to see a typical Jerry Zucker film but I was really surprised to see that it was much funnier than anything done before. The only think typical about the movie was the introduction of humor by namely presenting a bad situation and making it worse for that character in the situation i.e. with Jon Lovitz family and the Barbie museum gag. This only makes it even funnier and I was laughing so hard the entire time, I couldn't control myself. True the humor was somewhat predictable but it wasn't entirely so but that fact made things even better when you know something will happen but you don't know exactly what it is. The only thing I hated was the ending which looked really silly and very predictable. An all-star cast of some very funny actors could make it seem like they are trying to cover a bad script but in fact, it just keeps the movie going with one joke after another. Terrific.

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It has its moments.

Author: rastaban3 from Houston Texas
3 March 2002

Rat Race is not that bad but also not that good. I have a hard time enjoying comedies with crude humor in them. I just don't find that very funny. However, there are some moments in the film a are good. I like the Cuba Goodings Jr. part on the but with the I Love Lucy club. I enjoyed that part to name a moment.

The cast is well chosen and helps the film. John Cleese is very good and has some of the best comedy lines in the film. Otherwise, the film does suffer from some crude humor which I feel takes away from the film a lot.

Over all, not too bad and it does have it good moments (4 out of 10).

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