Rat Race Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
RAT RACE pits six Vegas winners of a special gold coin in a race to be the first to reach Silver City, New Mexico and a bag containing 2 million dollars. The invention of eccentric casino owner Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), the contestants are unaware they are nothing more than human horses running for a finish line so Sinclair’s group of money-laden international gamblers can bet on the winner.
Needless to say the trip across the desert is anything but orderly, as contestants steal and swindle their way into cars, trains, helicopters, balloons, buses and every other form of transportation available. The wide range of personalities include a recently reunited mother and daughter who were separated at birth (Whoopi Goldberg and Lanai Chapman), a careful law abiding lawyer (Breckin Meyer), a football referee who is a national disgrace after flubbing a recent coin toss (Cuba Gooding Jr.), an Italian tourist suffering from narcolepsy (Rowan Atkinson), a couple of con-artist brothers (Vince Vieluf and Seth Green), and a family of four led by their gambling addicted father (Jon Lovitz).
Even at its over two hour run time, squeezing this many characters into a script is reminiscent of pranks involving college students and a Volkswagen—and the writing is at the same level of intelligence. Sinclair shows his rich buddies a good time by betting on anything, including how much a prostitute will charge to provide a sexual fantasy for his executive assistant. Meanwhile, the action on the open road features a couple of mad racers hanging from a live cow unfortunate enough to be tangled in a hot air balloon tether, squirting milk from the animal’s udder at each other. Or a father so intent with winning the race that he refuses to pull over for a bathroom break and makes his daughter hang her buttocks out the window as he continues driving, and later resorts to putting sleeping pills in his family’s milkshakes.
While some may find an occasional laugh, Rat Race is packed with distasteful attempts at humor (like a Barbie museum that turns out to be a shrine honoring Klaus Barbie) and role models who are prepared to do anything for money.Running time: 112 minutes. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Rat Race rated PG-13? Rat Race is rated PG-13 by the MPAA
Overall: D+ A remake of the 1960’s comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, a group of people are given an opportunity to race from Vegas to a New Mexico town where a railroad station locker has a bag with 2 million dollars. With loads of slapstick violence, bathroom humor, sexual innuendo, strong gambling themes, politically incorrect humor, and possibly imitative behavior, this movie may have the odd funny moment but will leave many families racing to the box office for a refund.
Violence: D+ A man displays his freshly pierced tongue which is badly bruised and makes him unable to talk clearly—an ongoing joke throughout the movie. Two kids jumping on beds collide with each other. Man encourages another man (who never breaks rules) to steal newspaper. Man steals money from bucket intended for charity and gambles it. People trample each other on staircase in effort to be first out the door. Two airline pilots accidentally hit their heads together. Man punches another man to get ahead in lineup. Two men vandalize radar antenna and in the process destroy their car and are injured. Man dropped off in middle of desert with no shoes, pants (he’s wearing boxer shorts), or other supplies. Man lies to woman. Woman flying helicopter frightens man and woman by nearly landing the craft on them, then chases man’s vehicle eventually causing him to crash. Helicopter makes emergency landing. Woman punches man. Woman begins to roll up power window man has his head stuck through, then stuffs bra in his mouth and begins to drive the vehicle (he is eventually released). Man lies in order to steal man’s clothes and vehicle. Two men create public hazard hoping to launch liability suit. Woman falls down flight of stairs. Two men plot to steal car. Two women crash into pile of wrecked cars—skeleton falls out of one. Woman’s hair accidentally set on fire by cigarette. Two men transporting human heart intended for transplant patient accidentally toss organ out of window, after lengthy search they find dog has chewed on it, and one man contemplates murdering the other to get replacement heart. Man steals car. Man holds up burnt middle finger accidentally insulting motorcycle gang. Wife makes same rude gesture. Motorcycle gang run family off road. Family driving what is reputed to be Hitler’s car crashes a World War II veteran’s meeting. Angry man mistaken for Hitler shot at. Dead dog seen on electric fence. Man appears to be hit by train. Man survives electrical shock from fence. Two women steal car. Man holds gun. Man drugs his wife and children with sleeping pills. Cow dragged by hot air balloon smacks into bus. Two men spray each other with milk from cow’s udder. Two people siphon gas from police car. People jump from stage at concert and begin body surfing over crowd. A family, believing they are going to Barbie Doll display, end up at museum honoring Nazi criminal Klaus Barbie. Many people seen driving recklessly throughout movie. Van accidentally hits pedestrian. Man kicks another man. Two men drive off road. Two men nearly crushed by monster truck. Two men steal monster truck and drive over many cars in parking lot. Woman grabbed around neck by another woman. Cow lands on car with people inside.
Sexual Content: C- Female hotel clerk speaks to man about repeatedly watching sexual pay-per-view movie, mentioning title and sexual reference. Man talks about stripper. Young girl expresses urgent need to go to bathroom. Child hangs her towel-covered buttocks out van window. After being pulled over by police officer because his daughter defecates from their moving vehicle, man pretends to be homosexual to get out of ticket. Man explicitly describes woman having a baby using female anatomical terms. Man describes bizarre sexual fantasy to prostitute. Man exposes his pierced nipple. Woman takes her shirt off, exposing her pierced nipples—the side of her breast with jewelry chains attached to it is shown. Song contains some sexual lyrics. Man makes sexual remark while woman sucks on hose to siphon gas.
Language: D+ At least: One sexual expletive, two obscene hand gestures, 5 moderate profanities, 16 mild profanities, 9 terms of Deity used as expletives / profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: B+ Two women order drinks in hotel lounge. Woman told to extinguish lit cigarette. Other social drinking.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Rat Race Parents' Guide
Topics your children may ask about include:
- Prostitution… A man asks a woman for strange sexual activities in return for money.
- Gambling… Mr. Sinclair is a rich successful man who is obviously addicted to gambling. The father of the family of four is also a gambling addict, yet this is often made light of.
- Greed… The contestants seem willing to do anything for money.
- Breaking the law… The contestants frequently do things that would result in major prosecutions, yet none of these legal consequences are ever seen.
- Honesty… Many people lie to get what they want.
The most recent home video release of Rat Race movie is September 17, 2001. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
The Irish film Waking Ned Divine also explores the lengths some people will go for money. While parents should be aware that this movie endorses dishonesty, it does not contain the objectionable content abundantly depicted in Rat Race.