Cast: Breckin Meyer, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Vince Vieluf, Whoopi Goldberg, Lanei Chapman, Rowan Atkinson, Jon Lovtiz, John Cleese, Amy Smart, Dean Cain, Kathy Bates, Wayne Knight
Rating: PG-13 for crude humor, partial nudity, sexual references and language
Runtime: 112 minutes
What would you do if you were offered the chance of a lifetime to have a one in six chance of winning $2 million? The only thing you have to do is race against time and five other people and be the first one to arrive at a pre-determined train station locker to collect the loot. This is what happens to some unsuspecting slot machine players in Las Vegas.
After receiving a token, “everything by the book” Nick (Meyer), Owen Templeton (Gooding Jr.) an infamous football referee who made a bad call during a game, two screwball brothers Duane (Green) and Blaine (Vieluf), Vera Baker (Goldberg) and Merrill (Chapman), her long lost daughter who she has just reconciled with, the narcoleptic Enrico Pollini (Atkinson) and Randy (Lovitz), the frustrated family man, find themselves as the guests of billionaire Donald Sinclair (Cleese). Sinclair, it seems, has concocted the ultimate game where there are no rules, and the first person to unlock the train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico, is the big winner. However, the players don’t realize that they’re part of a more elaborate “high rollers” game, with people betting on which contestant will be the ultimate winner.
The participants soon learn that the trip to Silver City isn’t going to be easy. After Duane and Blaine cause the flights to be cancelled from the Las Vegas airport, the racers have to make the journey via a road trip. (All except for Nick who catches a ride with helicopter pilot Tracy (Smart), who has anger management issues against her boyfriend Shawn (Cain)). Each racer, however, has to overcome obstacles to get to their final destination. Nick and Tracy crash their helicopter after a high speed chase against Shawn, Owen finds himself stranded in the desert and then unwittingly becomes the bus driver for a group headed towards an “I Love Lucy” convention, Vera and Merrill find themselves stranded after a “not so nice” run in with the Squirrel Lady (Bates), after falling asleep and then being hit by an ambulance Enrico catches a ride with Zack (Knight) with shocking results, Randy not only has to deal with his family but things go downhill after they’re forced to steal a vehicle that belonged to Adolf Hitler and last, but not least, Duane and Blaine, have to track down the person who stole their key to the Silver City locker which results in a Monster Truck show, hot air balloons and flying cows. Who will ultimately be the winner of the “Rat Race”? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!
“Rat Race” is one of those movies that not only keeps you in stitches throughout but you also laugh at some of the action stunts that happen to the characters. I liked the idea of six teams racing against each other but behind the scenes, you have an additional wager going on to see who will be the winner. Plus, with this cast, you expect to be entertained during the movie.
One of my favorite action parts has to be the final run for the finish line. It reminded me of “Cannonball Run” in a way. There’s also the helicopter chase, Enrico and Zack chasing the dog who has stolen the heart and the antics of Duane and Blaine with the airport tower. I also liked the airplane ride with Donald Sinclair and his friends.
There were two things that I thought detracted from the movie. Throughout the film it was easy to predict what was going to happen next. Especially with Owen on the “Lucy” bus and Duane and Blaine and the Monster Truck show. The biggest thing for me was the ending. I thought the last ten minutes were a bit of a let down to the rest of the movie. Just in case you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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