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Still shot from the movie: Rat Race.

Rat Race

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. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: D+
Violence: D+
Sexual Content: C-
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: B+
Run Time: 112
Theater Release:
Video Release: 17 Sep 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Rat Race - Official site 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.

Rat Race - Official site 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).

Rat Race - Official site 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.

Rat Race is rated PG-13:

Studio: 2001 Paramount Pictures

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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