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If you've seen the trailer for this movie, you're probably thinking it
looks hilarious and you've made a mental note that it's one you don't want
to miss. More often than not, however, the funniest stuff is in the
previews, and when you see the whole movie it's a let-down. But I'm here
tell you, that is decidedly NOT the case with `Rat Race,' directed by
Zucker, and furthermore, make a mental note: This movie is hilarious, and
one you DO NOT want to miss. In the tradition of Stanley Kramer's 1963
comedy hit, `It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,' this one is exactly what it
is supposed to be-- Fun (yes, with a capital `F'), and Funny-- with one
laugh after another that just keep on a-comin'.
Las Vegas casino owner Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), likes to offer his
elite customers-- the `high rollers'-- something they can't get anywhere
else, in the form of things they can gamble on that are so bizarre you can
only imagine. And the big one he comes up with this time begins with the
planting of six lucky tokens in his slot machines. Those who win the
are invited to attend a meeting, at which time Sinclair announces that
are to be the lucky participants in a `race' of sorts. In a train station
locker in the small town of Silver City, New Mexico, there is $2,000,000
waiting for whomever gets to it first. He passes out six identical keys
the token bearers that will open the locker, shouts `Go!' and they're off!
And Sinclair's high rollers proceed to put down some big bucks on their
favorite horse-- uh, dog!-- uh-- Well, you get the idea...
The participants include Nick (Breckin Meyer), who is pretty much just a
regular guy; NFL referee Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding Jr.), hated by
millions because of a recent botched call; brothers Duane and Blaine Cody
(Seth Green, Vince Vieluf), not the brightest bulbs to begin with, and
hampered in their communications by Blaine's newly pierced tongue; a
Vera (Whoopi Goldberg), and the daughter she gave up for adoption and with
whom she has just reunited, Merrill (Lanei Chapman); Randy Pear (Jon
Lovitz), who has a hard time making his wife, Bev (Kathy Najimy), and
two kids, Kimberly (Jillian Marie) and Jason (Brody Smith) understand why
he's interrupted their Vegas vacation to drag them off suddenly to New
Mexico; and-- last but not least-- Enrico Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), a
narcoleptic Italian. It's quite the eclectic bunch, and they definitely
on quite a show.
During the rush for the gold, they encounter a number of people and
situations that drive the laugh meter through the roof, including: A
(Kathy Bates) selling squirrels by the roadside (Vera and Merrill); a
of `Lucy' impersonators on their way to some kind of Lucy convention
a `Barbie' museum that isn't what it seems, and not a great place for the
Jewish Pear family to visit; an errant cow, a hot air balloon and a guy
overhears too much (Duane and Blaine); a jealous helicopter pilot named
Tracy (Amy Smart), who buzzes her boyfriend's house at a most inopportune
time (Nick); an ambulance driver, Zack (Wayne Knight), who is transporting
human heart for a transplant, and suffers something akin to the same fate
that famous `cat' due to his curiosity (Enrico). Zucker and writer Andy
Breckman pulled out all the stops with this one, and the result (and
much, much, MUCH more than what's mentioned here) is some pretty wild
The secret to making this all work, is above all to keep it moving-- and
Zucker certainly does that. He relies heavily on sight gags and
and knows how to set up the schtick for a real payoff, which he succeeds
time and again throughout the entire film. it's all fairly controlled
insanity, and with a couple of exceptions when Zucker wanders into Jim
Carrey/Farrelly Brothers territory, it's pretty easy to swallow. Most
importantly, IT'S FUNNY! with enough different kinds of humor thrown in to
satisfy just about any taste. And that's a rare thing to be said of any
comedy, and it's a big part of why this one's such a gem.
The cast is superb, but the highlights have to be Cuba Gooding Jr., who
demonstrates a real knack for comedy; John Cleese, who can make you laugh
just by smiling, brandishing as he does a spectacular set of teeth; and
Rowan Atkinson, who does some masterful bits of physical comedy, the likes
of which rivals the best of Peter Sellers and Buster Keaton. The way he
mugs and moves is absolutely hysterical.
The supporting cast includes Gloria Allred (Herself), Dave Thomas (Mr.
Grisham), Dean Cain (Shawn), Paul Rodriguez (Gus), Brandy Ledford (Vicky),
Tristin Leffler (Pierced Girl) and Andrew Kavovit. One that lives up to
it's expectations and more, `Rat Race' is everything you want it to be, a
laugh a minute movie that never lets up, and one that won't wear your
out making you think about it too much. This is pure entertainment
lead you down the road to riot (make that `laugh' riot). There hasn't
anything quite like this since Jimmy Durante kicked that bucket and
that other bunch of madcaps off looking for `The big 'dub-a-yeh'.' Zucker
and his gang really pulled this one off, and moreover, they did it with
style. And that's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 8/10.
Tags for Rat Race Full Movie
, Carrie Diamond
, Cuba Gooding Jr.
, Jenica Bergere
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