By EW Staff
Updated April 20, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Rat Race: Doane Gregory

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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