Projections - Movie Reviews

Rat Race

Rat Race

Very often comedies are released late in August as throwaways, films that are not worth the effort but by presenting them late in the Summer they make money for a few weeks and can be ready for video by Christmas.  Rat Race destroys that notion.

With a large comedic cast sent out to find two million dollars by Donald Sinclair, played with pompous arrogance by Vegas club owner John Cleese, situations which have been seen before are allowed to travel to hilarious spectacular endings by director Jerry Zucker.

The group of underdogs each face challenges on their way to Silver City, New Mexico and the red bag of money.  The Perry family's journey through a Hitler museum, the use of Hitler's so called car and Randy Pear's (Jon Lovitz) simulated speech to World War II veterans brings the house down to the extent that the roar of laughter drowns out the speech.

We also see Vera Baker (Whoopi Goldberg) and her daughter Merrill (Lanai Chapman) who are holding a reunion in a land speed rocket powered vehicle and Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) somehow becomes the driver of a bus filled with fifty "Lucy" look alikes on their way to a convention.  The bus fills with soap suds as the I Love Lucy theme enters the sound track and the bus falls from the New Mexico road.

The race also follows Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) an Italian character who regularly falls asleep in unusual places as he travels with Zack (Wayne Knight) and a replacement heart.  The Cody Brothers (Seth Green & Vince Vieluf) work at communicating with each other; Vince has a new stud through his toung and can't express himself clearly.  They end up with cows and balloons.  Nick Shaffer (Breckin Meyer), a lawyer, ends up in a helicopter with pilot Tracy Faucet (Amy Smart) as she uses it to seek revenge on her boyfriend.  Mr. Grisham (Dave Thomas) is the lawyer who aids John Cleese's Donald Sinclair and ends up battling a hooker for the red bag.

As the race goes on Sinclair constantly plays games of chance with an international group of gamblers who have bet on the characters in the race adding spice to the story.

One problem is ending this style of script - who should win and can the writers allow Sinclair to make the huge profit he has in hand from the room full of betters?  Writer Andy Breckman finds a satisfying way out and adds to the already satisfying comedy.

This Rat Race is worth entering.

Rat Race

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