Rat Race

Rat Race

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

How are the mighty fallen!

Everyone connected to this film should lose their licence to conduct acts of comedy in a public place. Rowan Atkinson is buttock-clenchingly embarrassing. John Cleese has false teeth. Whoopi Goldberg plays a grinning mama. Cuba Gooding Jr squeals a lot. Jon Lovitz is Jon Lovitz, only more so. Director Jerry (Airplane!) Zucker thinks that crashing cars is hysterical. Scriptwriter Andy Breckman needs a sense-of-humour transplant.

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The plot is the old treasure hunt race for gold. The contestants, who don't know that's who they are, start in Las Vegas and end up in Silver City, New Mexico. First one to the railway station wins $2million.

Atkinson is an Italian Mr Bean. Cleese is the casino owner who thought of the idea. Goldberg is at his hotel, meeting her long-lost daughter. Gooding is a football coach who messed up a Dallas Cowboys game at the weekend and is hated by every sports lover in the land. Lovitz is staying at the hotel with his wife and kids to watch David Copperfield. Seth Green and his brainless brother are scammers, looking for a quick buck. Breckin Meyer is a goody-goody young lawyer, who meets a helicopter pilot (Amy Smart), while waiting for a flight to Chicago.

They travel to Silver City in planes, trains and automobiles. Their adventures fail the gag test by being loud and destructive. Greed dominates their thoughts. What's funny about that? What's funny about cruelty to cows and Nazi memorabilia? What's funny about killing a drifter to rip out his heart?

Blackadder died today. Basil Fawlty was not available for comment.

Reviewed on: 11 Jan 2002
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Rowan Atkinson and a bunch of idiots race from Las Vegas to New Mexico to win $2million.
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Director: Jerry Zucker

Writer: Andy Breckman

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Cuba Gooding Jr, Whoopi Goldberg, Breckin Meyer, Jon Lovitz, Seth Green, Kathy Najimy, Amy Smart, Dean Cain

Year: 2001

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada/US

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