Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Rat Race

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Profanity:Some crude language, potty humor
Nudity/Sex:Reference to pornography, prostitute, charater flashes her breasts (offscreen)
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence, no characters hurt; skeleton
Diversity Issues:Racially diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2001

Rat Race” is a loving salute to the spirit of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” a splendid salute to slapstick that featured just about everyone who happened to be in Hollywood in 1965. “Rat Race” has an all-star cast playing characters who all want to be the first one to a $2 million treasure and will do anything — ANYTHING to get it. It is outrageous, cheerfully vulgar, undeniably lowbrow, and very, very funny.

John Cleese plays a Donald Trump-style casino owner who has a plan to attract the really high rollers. He will let them bet on a race between creatures who can think, plan, and lie — humans. Six randomly selected customers of the casino are each given a key to a box in a train station in Utah. Inside the box is $2 million, and the first one there gets it all. The six include Rowan Atkinson as a narcoleptic Italian, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as a disgraced football referee (he blew the call on the coin toss), Whoopi Goldberg as a woman just reunited with the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Brecken Meyer as a conservative lawyer who always plays by the rules, Jon Lovitz as a father on vacation with his family, and Seth Green and Vince Vieleuf as small-time con artists. Along the way, they meet up with the prettiest helicopter pilot in the world (Amy Smart, brilliantly funny), neo-Nazis, real-life superlawyer Gloria Allred, a rocket car, a truck driver delivering some very important and delicate cargo, and a bus full of Lucy impersonators. There is a lot of good, old-fashioned, hit-on-the-head humor, but it’s like a Road Runner cartoon — everyone bounces back without a scratch in the next scene, ready to get right back into the game.

Director Jerrry Zucker, shows the sure hand with sight gags that brought us “Airplane!” While this does not have that movie’s surreal moments of comic ecstasy, its stronger narrative coherence and more interesting characters make it almost as satisfying. All of the performances are delights. Kathy Bates’s brief cameo as a woman who really likes squirrels and Amy Smart’s expression when she dive-bombs her cheating boyfriend (played by TV Superman Dean Cain), Vieluf’s encounter with his multi-pierced dream girl, Seth Green’s encounter with a monster truck rally, and Kathy Najimy’s encounter with the Barbie Museum are among the funniest movie moments in years. And the final resolution beats “It’s a Mad…World” by a thousandfold.

Parents should know that the PG-13 rating comes from some vulgar humor, including bathroom jokes, a weird proposition made to a prostitute, an offensive porn movie title, and a cross-dressing man. A multiply-pierced woman flashes her breasts as a way of flirting with a man she does not know (nothing seen).

Families who see this movie should talk about Brecken Meyers’s statement that “Good things take time, but great things happen all at once.” Why does money make people take such foolish risks? Who were you rooting for? Why? Compare the amount at issue in this movie with the amount that people were racing for in “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” Why is it so much more?

Families who see this movie will also enjoy “Airplane!,” “Top Secret,” and “Blazing Saddles” (all with some vulgar humor). And every family should watch “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.



Previous Posts

The Top 100 Animated Films of All Time: The Animators Pick
Time Out New York asked top animators to pick the greatest 100 animated films of all time.  All the Disney, Pixar, and Miyazaki classics are there, plus some surprises.  I have some disagreements, but am entirely in favor of the #1 pick. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAykOz1gWi4[/you

posted 3:59:23pm Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Daniel Licht, Composer of "Dexter"
Daniel Licht composed the music for "Dexter" as well as two of the "Silent Hill" video games and films including "Permanent Midnight" and "Stephen King's Thinner."  He talked to me about the difference between composing for thrillers and comedy and why he hit his guitar with a frying pan. Tell m

posted 8:00:40am Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Earth Day! Movies About Our Planet
Celebrate Earth Day with some of these great films about our planet, its beauties and its challenges: 1. An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary makes a powerful case for the dire effects of climate change -- and an even more powerful case for our ability to prevent more damage

posted 7:00:55am Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smithsonian: Earth Day Movies for Kids
The Smithsonian has a terrific list of movies for kids about the environment -- great films for Earth Day or any day. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgT_xT587MY[/youtube]

posted 4:53:58pm Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

New on DVD: The Classic King Family Specials
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEk4ae0KGI0[/youtube] King Family's Classic Television Specials Collection Volume One comes out on DVD tomorrow. It is a lot of fun to visit the wonderfully wholesome King Family -- the six singing King sisters and their spouses and children, who all seemed

posted 3:50:54pm Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.