premise - from "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" director
Jerry Zucker - is a no-brainer. Six randomly selected guests at a
swanky Vegas hotel are invited to take part in a race by casino mogul
Donald Sinclair (Cleese, in zany Monty Python mode).
is given a key to a safety deposit box which contains $2million
and is situated in a desert town a state away. The first to get
there wins the cash. The rules? None.
an "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"-style scramble by
the participants to get to the stash. A narcoleptic Italian (Atkinson)
hitches a lift with a mad medic (Wayne Knight); a strait-laced lawyer
(Meyer) teams up with a feisty helicopter pilot (Smart); Randy Pear
(Lovitz) and family steal Hitler's car from a Nazi museum; a pair
of thick brothers (Green and Vince Vieluf) get into cow trouble;
and a disgraced referee (Gooding Jr) ends up driving a bus of I
Love Lucy fans across the desert.
and then there's the estranged mother (Goldberg) and daughter (Lanai
Chapman) who meet 'the squirrel lady' (Bates) before stowing away
in a rocket car.
wacky, off-kilter and very, very silly, but spot-on performances,
a lightning pace, economic script, and bum-friendly running time
prevent the whole shebang from becoming tiresome. And a lack of
mean-spirited, gross-out humour makes it a guileless, guilt-free
pleasure that should appeal to more than merely teenage boys.
"Rat Race" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 11th January
Crowther , BBC Films
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