Rat Race: Doane Gregory
EW Staff
April 20, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Rat Race

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
112 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/17/01
performer
Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr., Seth Green, Jon Lovitz, Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Kathy Bates
director
Jerry Zucker
Producers
Alphaville Films, Fireworks Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Rat Race USA Inc.
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Andy Breckman
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B+

Las Vegas has a new high roller pastime: betting on desperate people. Cleese plays an oily casino owner mastermind who cooks up an ”anything goes” competition, surreptitiously tracking the progress of six contestants while taking wagers on likely winners as they search for a $2 million jackpot hidden in New Mexico. En route, one man (Gooding) commandeers a busfull of female Lucille Ball impersonators; another (Rowan Atkinson) rides shotgun in an organ donor truck; and a mother – daughter team (Goldberg and Chapman) meet somebody billed as ”squirrel lady.”

”It isn’t satirical at all,” says director Zucker, who made his name burlesquing genre movies with partners David Zucker and Jim Abrahams (”Airplane!,” ”The Naked Gun”) before helming ”Ghost” on his own. ”We’re not making fun of these characters. It’s just broad, physical comedy, a lot of mass zaniness.” So long as there’s no Carrot Top cameo.

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