Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Whoopi Goldberg, Lanei Chapman, Vince
Vieluf, Seth Green ,Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy,
Brody Smith, Jillian Marie, Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Dave
Thomas, and Silas Weir Mitchell
by: Jerry Zucker
is so stupid it's fun. Now, I'm not getting all "suburban
movie goer" on you, trust me. I haven't sold my soul to the
minivan dealership just yet, but, Rat Race is mindless,
cheesy laughs and giggles.
it's one of those "good for the whole family" flicks
that should be thrown right into the trash from a cinematic point
of view, but for bringing the multi-generational youngins' and
together it serves its purpose perfectly.
And Rat Race is certainly good for a couple innocent guffaws
and chuckles; think Cannonball Run, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World
or The Great Race, silly stupid, nonsensical fun. Nothing
academy award winning or snot-flying about inducing, but non the
less enjoyable. The real funny stuff is pretty much all
over the previews, as suspected. However they've left a few ha-ha
Race is about a group of misfits thrown together by Donald
Sinclair (John Cleese- who has borrowed Matt Dillon's "Chopper"
dentures from Something about Mary for the role). Sinclair's going
to give one lucky winner a bag filled with two million dollars.
Winner of what? A race. A race to a little train station in Silver
Something New Mexico. He's added golden coins to his hotels slot
machines to gather his race members.
course Sinclair has something up his sleeve. No casino owner gives
away two million dollars...
will win the cash? Who cares it's just fun to watch the twists
and turns as silliness grows and multiplies, like any old screwball
race comedies of twenty and thirty years ago. They were not cinematic
treasures either, just a quick giggle, that many of us deny enjoying
yet, oddly always seem to know every cast member and their bio.
Hmm. Rat Race's jokes are telegraphed and a biggy size portion
of corny. Is this a great movie? No. But, it is fun. Rat Race
jams a big-ol-bunch of famous faces and "Hey, I know that
one too"s into two hours of goofy humor meant to be taken
with a big smile.
Enrico Pollini played by whacky Rowan Atkinson (you know him as
Mr. Bean though his Black Adder series was so much funnier).
He's a blatant rip-off of real life nutcase Roberto Benigni the
director/actor of Life is Beautiful. Too goofy for me...
Cuba Gooding Jr. who's character, Owen Templeton, has recently
made a grievous error of judgment on a playing field which has
catapulted the man to "America's most hated" celebrity
-over night. He's having a particularly bad week.
are the clueless brothers, Blaine and Duane Cody, played by Vince
Vieluf, and Seth Green.
They're cheaters, competitors and hell-bent on getting that cash
no matter who they have to scam. Brother Blaine has his jaw wired
shut so he sounds like a bad imitation of Benicio Del Toro mumbling
through all his lines. That gets kind of old, kind of fast. They
are shady laughable tweedle de and tweedle dumb villains over
all. Vieluf is an up and comer- keep your eye out...
there's the straight edged attorney from Chicago, Nick Shaffer,
played calmly by Road Trip's Breckin
Meyer. This is Mr. Straight. He's has not committed a single crime
and isn't sure what people mean by the "F" word. Mr
Paully Purebred to be sure...that'll change. He hooks up with
jilted Ms. Bitter, aka Tracy Faucet played by Road Trip's
Amy Smart. There's a pattern here no? They were both in Road
Trip, this is kind of a road trip...Clever!
Whoopi Goldberg and Lanai Chapman paired as mother and daughter
who have joined in for the loot, but get held up from the race
a tad when they encounter a deranged road side pet squirrel vender
(Kathy Bates in one of the highlights of the movie) who's not
too pleased they didn't purchase one of her critters.
there's Jon Lovitz and his middle-class family the Pears. He and
his wife (Kathy Najimy) are just trying to have a family vacation...But,
Randy (Lovitz) has a gambling habit that leads him into this race.
He tries to keep it a secret from his naive wife, as she's non-too-
keen on his harebrain ideas as is. Lovitz and his family unit
steal most of the truly funny scenes. They have the hardest time
in the race (in my opinion), and the funniest results trying to
stay in the race. Obvious, slapstick laughs...but laughs are laughs!
Finally a Lovitz movie that doesn't suck Good for him.
Blunt Aside: Why are all men named Vince cute? Hmm. Oh, and Pauls
too? Just something to ponder till the next review.
cast is really the only thing that makes this watchable. Each
excellent at their character's idiosyncrasies that make for the
laughs en route to the cash. The script is borrowed from several
mad race chases of yesteryear and tweaked for today's viewer.
Recommendation: Squirrel nuts.