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Overall Rating

Awesome: 22.31%
Worth A Look: 17.69%
Pretty Bad: 14.62%
Total Crap: 14.62%

7 reviews, 88 user ratings

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Rat Race
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by Jason Whyte

"Great fun...just make sure you leave in the last reel."
3 stars

"Rat Race" has an ending similar to "American History X" or "Pay It Forward" that will just leave the viewer dumbfounded. "What the hell happened?" spilled through my mind as what would have been a good, solid comedy is left ransacked by a nauseating clunker of a finale. If the film were to end at a particular spot (and I know exactly where), I would be numb with laughter. After feeling giddy and satisfied for 95 minutes, the rest of the proceedings just pissed me off.

And let me tell you, it was looking pretty good. A wealthy casino owner (John Cleese) has stashed $2 million in a locker in Silvercity, Nevada and sends eight complete strangers from Las Vegas to fetch it. The eight are from every form of life imaginable. There's a family man (Jon Lovitz), a narcaleptic foreigner(Rowan Atkinson), a pair of goofy teenagers (Seth Green and Vince Vieluf ), a businessman (Seth Green) with a helicopter pilot (Amy Smart), two friends visiting Vegas (Whoopi Goldberg and Lanai Chapman) and a former coach (Cuba Gooding Jr.), all of whom go "It's a Mad Mad World" style to see who gets the cash first.

Penelope Spherris once said "In comedy, you have to let your audience where you are going in the first five minutes." Director Jerry Zucker, whose "Airplane!" I consider one of the top five comedies ever made, doesn't seem to remember it. Not counting the excellent opening credits, it takes a while for "Rat Race" to actually take off, spending way too long on the eight individuals and their setups. Part of the reason is the talent involved, and they all have to have their due screen time, but it still flounders. Things really pick up once the race starts going and all of our characters get into impossible, cartoonish antics. I loved scenes such as Atkinson jumping onto a train, Lovitz crashing into a war rally with Hitler's truck and a rocket blast, complete with flapping mouths, et al. For a while, I was laughing loud and pleased, thinking this is a welcome relief from the year's bad comedies.

(Spoiler Warning)

And then this ending comes, in a way of making the eight fully realize how far their greed has gone. At one point, I was ok with the reasoning, but the pacing was incredibly bad. A comedy is supposed to make you laugh throughout, this final passage was an interminable and endless bore, complete with Smash Mouth, yet again, singing "All Star." Who knew that the use in "Shrek," one of the year's best films, would have such a backwards effect here? I sat wondering if another film or an accidental deleted scene was cut back in.

Still, for what it's worth, the film has some good humour despite the lame-brained last reel of film. The film's best line? It's not even from a main character, but when Lovitz' daughter is riding in the back seat in Hitler's car, and finds a pair of lady's sunglasses. She puts them on and remarks, Monroe-like, "Look, I'm Mrs. Hitler!"

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originally posted: 09/14/04 15:44:45
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User Comments

7/25/09 Jeff Wilder An okay screwball comedy. 3 stars
11/02/08 Samantha Pruitt pretty funny, all the great story lines are great! 4 stars
12/31/06 kitfo a waste of comic talent. you can see most of these jokes coming from a mile off. 2 stars
11/28/06 Dan Surprisingly entertaining. Better than 85% of the crap pumped out these days 4 stars
10/03/06 Jeremy Davies Great entertainment 4 stars
9/04/06 David Pollastrini John Cleese is great in this. 3 stars
8/26/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen Surprisingly funny here and there 4 stars
8/01/06 David Cohen A rip off of "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World" with 1/8 the humor 3 stars
5/26/06 Jeff Anderson Yes the Smashmouth finale was a cheap waste, but the rest was funny. Lovitz is a SCREAM! 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Good comedy 3 stars
2/09/06 JM Synth "Hey, Look It's Smashmouth!". Nuff Said. Rest of film is crap as well 1 stars
12/30/05 chris f not bad 4 stars
9/12/05 Total Crap Hi-fucking-larious! But Smashmouth killed it at the end. GODDAMNIT! 2 stars
9/01/05 Dirk For those who like humor on the level of "smell my finger" this movie ROCKS 5 stars
8/31/05 ES some very funny scenes in an otherwise lazy movie 3 stars
7/10/05 DM Actually pretty funny (Rowan Atkinson is great.) 4 stars
6/29/05 darick Most of film= 4 stars, Ending (one of the worst I've ever seen)= 1 f****** star 3 stars
6/08/05 JD If you're bored and nothing else is on worth a look. 3 stars
2/19/05 clinger26 yes!!!!!! Ive been waiting for something like this 5 stars
1/25/05 Gray funny (hate Smashmouth though) 5 stars
9/22/04 Al Guy It had some laughs, but not the best I've seen. 4 stars
9/05/04 jmsynth Any film with a fucking Smashmouth concert as a grand finale cant be too good 2 stars
7/26/04 Katie I was laughing SO much watching this movie! 5 stars
6/20/04 Tim Airport radar and squirrel scene hilarious and few other funny bits but not fluent. 3 stars
6/01/04 Nobody Without Rown Atkinson, 4 stars. With Rowan Atkinson, 1 star 1 stars
4/09/04 Daveman The scenes with John Cleese in are hilarious, the rest of the film is wank. 2 stars
2/22/04 Ingo O what a piece of unnerving sh*t 2 stars
12/23/03 Littlepurch Brilliant! Y does it get such bad reviews. Reviewers don't have a clue!!! 5 stars
12/18/03 alien assassin not as funny as "It's a mad mad mad World" but still offers plenty of laughs 4 stars
10/30/03 Moparman Lots of funny moments in this movie!! 4 stars
10/19/03 Frank Andrew Thompson (FAT) If you have any sense of humour you'll like this movie! 4 stars
8/13/03 Double G funny 5 stars
8/07/03 Marc Ian Very funny ! (5 stars) :) 5 stars
6/24/03 Jack Sommersby A few laughs, but they're few and far between. Underwhelming cast, too. 2 stars
5/13/03 cinkcool funny 5 stars
4/18/03 Andrew Carden Occasionally Unfunny Airplane-Type Comedy...With Bad Ensemble and Bad Screenplay 2 stars
1/01/03 John Aster Habig great cast, good plot, mixed script 4 stars
10/20/02 St. Clair The only really funny part was the slo-mo escape scene with Seth Green & his bro. Hilarious 4 stars
10/07/02 Arsehole Man, if you have the ability to laugh at life... see this movie. You'll enjoy it. 5 stars
8/05/02 David Thorman I couldn't help but be fascinated by Rowan Atkinson's abysmal performance. 1 stars
6/19/02 Bada Bing Crosby 90% of it hilarious! Take the stick outta yer ass & LAUGH 5 stars
6/17/02 y0rt Good stuff 5 stars
6/06/02 The Bomb 69 No Airplane, but some truly funny parts in between some misses 3 stars
5/22/02 officer 412/l well,it's no airplane. but when it's funny,it's pretty damm hilarious. 4 stars
4/26/02 Jeff Lecky Anyone who enjoys this movie is an arsehole! 1 stars
4/25/02 lauren mccreight about as funny as "Dude, Where's My Car?".....i wish there was a rating below "Total Crap"! 1 stars
4/21/02 Dave MacDougall the best part about it was when it ended... 1 stars
4/20/02 stoolie-bird showed me a new level of boring..... 1 stars
3/31/02 NWO4LIFE Uneven, but fun farce. The was lacking, though. 4 stars
3/29/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Hilarious. 4 stars
2/18/02 Monday Morning Just sit back and enjoy it, you discarded douchebags. 4 stars
2/05/02 specialK worst film i've ever seen. i am still angry 1 stars
2/04/02 Glip Seriously, my parents laughed at this movie, if they found it funny, anyone will 5 stars
2/03/02 Spyguy2 So bad I couldn't turn away then found myself liking it until the end 'cus Smashmouth sux 3 stars
1/23/02 Sparky Polastri Hey get that stick outta your ASS! Boy if you hate this movie I pity you 5 stars
1/17/02 J. I didn't laugh ONCE throughout this drek. Mindless films suit their mindless audiences. 1 stars
1/16/02 David A. One Big Bore 1 stars
1/09/02 Michael This movie is hilarious! 5 stars
1/09/02 Jimbo Good slapstick stuff & funny....maybe a bit too long though 4 stars
1/05/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another kick ass movie by the kick ass people at Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/30/01 sarafina This movie. Made me want to kill, rape and plunder the inhabitants of the neighborhood 1 stars
12/15/01 Ian Barr Funny. Nothing else, just funny. 4 stars
10/09/01 Joe Blowme Great stinking movie!! 5 stars
10/08/01 Destruction Worker I can do anything I want... I'm eccentric!! 5 stars
10/04/01 Bada Bing Crosby A riot; loved it! 5 stars
9/22/01 mjm103171 I laughed till i was prairiedoggin' 5 stars
9/20/01 Christina Good movie. 5 stars
9/15/01 CHU SENG POONG a very funny movie, would appeal to most guys 5 stars
9/09/01 Deanna Long Funny, fast paced, totally mindless. I learned the term Prairie Dogging, I'm grateful. 5 stars
9/05/01 Billy Bob Hilarious 5 stars
8/29/01 jedrek Good movie to rent on video or see with a bunch of people. 4 stars
8/29/01 Michael Flynn 2001's funniest movie. You won't find better jokes about Nazis and "I Love Lucy" this year. 5 stars
8/28/01 chuck This is one of the finest classic comedys I have seen in a long time 5 stars
8/28/01 Brek FKn Fuck this, i'm druknk 1 stars
8/28/01 spaceworm Best opening credit sequence of the year. Cop out ending. Good otherwise. 4 stars
8/22/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble My emotionally slow cousin said this movie was stupid. I kid you not. 1 stars
8/22/01 Rampage sucked shit 1 stars
8/22/01 Bada Bing Crosby Laughed like hell..what the fuck were you people watching? 5 stars
8/21/01 King Jackass You are insane... this movie is fucking hilarious! 5 stars
8/21/01 TimmyJ Not funny at all 1 stars
8/20/01 Dan stinks 1 stars
8/20/01 Otis Nang Pretty funny - that Bean guy is very overrated 4 stars
8/19/01 the scarecrow I was just glad to see Rowan Atkinson as something besides Bean. 4 stars
8/18/01 bnb nbn 5 stars
8/16/01 Brek FKn Another hollywood landfill full of shit, dirty needles and toasters. 1 stars
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  17-Aug-2001 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Jerry Zucker

Written by
  Andy Breckman

  Breckin Meyer
  Amy Smart
  Whoopi Goldberg
  Seth Green
  Jon Lovitz
  John Cleese
  Cuba Gooding Jr.

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