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Rat Race
Video/DVD Stats & Links

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Whoopi Goldberg, Vince Vieluf, Seth Green, Lanei Chapman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lon Lovitz, Kathy Najimy, Rowan Atkinson, Newman, Mr. Bean, John Cleese, Dave Thomas, Wayne Night, Kathy Bates
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Distributed By: Paramount Home Video
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but the teens might enjoy it.
Date Movie: It's a comedy.  Go ahead and snuggle on the couch.
Gratuitous Sex: Cuba Gooding, Jr., runs around in his boxers and there's a hooker but she keeps her clothes on.  Most of anything is light talk and a side boob shot.
Gratuitous Violence: Cartoon-like violence.
Action: It's a race to get two millions dollars.  Lots of running around.
Laughs: From start to finish.
Memorable Scene: Too many to mention.
Memorable Quote: "Naked, sailor hat, jacuzzi, Pepto Bismal, toenails, and a shaved buttocks."
Directed By: Jerry Zucker

Cool Things About the DVD

Learn French! Put it in French and read the English subtitles.
Buy a New TV! It's available in widescreen.  Always a good reason to buy a new TV.
Buy a New Stereo! Not really.  It's a comedy, and it is in 5.1 surround, but it doesn't make too much of a difference.
Anything Else! It's got your standard fare of outtakes, a gag reel, and director's interview, but nothing that makes the DVD stand out.

Rat Race
A Video/DVD Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 1:52 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I really enjoyed "Rat Race" when I saw it in the theaters, and was a little hesitant when I rented the DVD, but in the end it proved just as good as a rental as I remembered it in the theater.

The story for "Rat Race" isnít really new. Basically itís your "race of a group of different people to win the big prize and the stories of how each of them try to make it there" movie. Sometimes those movies work, sometimes they donít. Happily for me "Rat Race" worked.

This movies gives you John Cleese as Donald Sinclair.  He's an eccentric, Las Vegas casino owner always trying to milk more money from the super-rich folks.  To do so he cooks up this challenge for six lucky teams.  The teams are chosen by various individuals winning a gold coin out of a slot machine, and his challenge for the teams - be the first to get to Silver City, NM, and get $2 million dollars from a train locker which you are given the key to open.  In it for Sinclair is he has the super-rich folks betting on who is going to win the race.  So, just as eccentric as Sinclair are the six teams which break down like this:

  • Breckin Meyer is Nick.  He's an attorney always doing everything by the book.  He thinks this whole thing is a scam, so at the airport instead of trying to figure out the quickest way to New Mexico, well Nick works the hot Tracey (Amy Smart).  His working her eventually leads to the two of teaming up since she flies a helicopter.
  • Whoopi Goldberg is Vera.  She's in Vegas to find her daughter, Merrill (Lanei Chapman), who Vera abandoned.  Merrill is struggling in her own business, and their travels to the treasure are hampered by their not buying a squirrel.
  • Duane (Seth Green) and Blaine (Vince Vieluf) are brothers looking for fortune by faking an accident so they can sue someone.  Neither are really the brains of the bunch and Blaine is hampered by a recent tongue piercing.
  • Randy (Jon Lovitz) kinda reminds me of Clark Griswold from "National Lampoon's Vacation".  He's on vacation with his family but ditches them as quick as possible to hit the slot machines.  He wins the gold coin, learns of the prize, lies to his wife about a job in New Mexico, but his wife, Bev (Kathy Majimy), won't let him go without her and the kids so it's off in the family truckster where kids always having to go to the bathroom is a huge distraction when you're in a race.
  • Do you remember the NFL coin flip that seemed to have been screwed up?  Well, Owen (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is a referee who had the same thing happen to him and even though he shaved his mustache, well, people still recognize him.  Two million dollars would really help him fade into a life of obscurity and somehow he figures out how to drive a bus.
  • And finally, Enrico (Rowan Atkinson who you'd probably remember as Mr. Bean), is the kooky foreigner who also happens to be slightly narcoleptic.  Eventually he is helped for a while by Zack (Wayne Night) who's driving an ambulance making an organ transplant delivery.

Alright, so these are the teams, and as expected each have their own adventure to be the winner, and with Jerry Zucker being the director you can expect that each adventure will be wacky.  Personally I won't go into their adventures as each has their own high points, and as funny as the team's adventures are, just as funny are the various other bets Sinclair comes up with for his millionaires as they wait for the winner.  In the genre of an "Airplane" or "Naked Gun", well, you can expect what kind of humor might be present and I'll tell you what, just about all of that kind of humor is there.

What really makes this movie work, even with the easy to work with jokes, is that all of the characters fit their roles perfectly.  Lovitz is great as the Clark Griswold style dad, Breckin as Nick goes through the transformation of never doing anything against the law to doing anything to try and win, especially with his new girl, superbly (and Amy is hot and has some of the best facial expressions I've seen), and, well, I'll quit saying everyone was great and explaining why and just say everyone was great.

What was really surprising, and I almost forgot it could be done, is you could get a 4 1/2 star comedy without the so much of the toilet humor that has become so prevalent in movies.  Sure, there were some gross skits, but not nearly on the level of most films that have come out recently nor so over the top.  That was just as refreshing as seeing great actors to great jobs and make a great comedy.

As far as the DVD, there's nothing too special about it other than it's a DVD.  The deleted scenes were thankfully deleted, the outtakes weren't too funny, and commentary usually doesn't add too much to a movie like "Rat Race."  In the end, though, I'm giving "Rat Race" 4 1/2 Stars out of 5.  It was a surprisingly good movie in the theater, and held up well on DVD.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

 

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