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RAT RACE (PG-13)
Paramount Pictures
Official Site
Director: Jerry Zucker
Producer: Jerry Zucker and Janet Zucker
Written by: Andy Breckman
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg (Vera), Cuba Gooding, Jr., Seth Green (Duane), Jon Lovitz (Randy), Breckin Meyer (Nick), Amy Smart (Tracy)

Rating: out of 5


The huge star-studded ensemble cast in the zany road comedy RAT RACE doles out situational comedy by the plate and satisfies the comedic craving in all of us. This whirlwind chase radiates from a central bet deployed by greedy billionaire Donald St. Clair (Cleese). St. Clair decides to plant $2 billion in a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico, located 500 miles away, and randomly selects people to race to get the loot. All participants are chosen Willy Wonka-style by winning special golden tokens in St. Clair’s casino slot machines. The players may use any mode of transportation, or morals—lying, stealing and cheating— to win the race. To make it worthwhile for himself, St. Clair and his billionaire friends bet on which “rat” they think will win the race.

The participants in this crazy caper include Vera (Goldberg), who has recently reunited with her daughter Merrill; lawyer Nick (Meyer) and pilot Tracy (Smart); Randy (Lovitz), with his wife and kids in tow; idiotic brother duo Duane (Green) and Blaine Cody; washed-up referee Owen (Gooding); and the hard-to-understand Italian, Pollini (Atkinson). With this much diversity, these characters get themselves into situations that range from stealing Hitler’s car and being chased by Neo-Nazis to hijacking a bus full of Lucy impersonators on their way to an I LOVE LUCY convention.

Yes, you might find that this slightly resembles 1963’s IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, but be assured that RAT RACE is not a simple re-make. Although based on the same concept, it’s more entertaining than its predecessor and has wilder plot twists. So bring your kid, or your inner kid, to see a movie that will surely lighten your spirits.

—Jennifer Prestigiacomo

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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