Rat Race

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

With the every growing number of reality TV shows, this concept could show up any day. British comedian and Monty Python alumni John Cleese, plays the wealthy owner of a Las Vegas casino who offers high rollers the chance to bet on almost anything. In this slapstick, ensemble comedy, six people are selected at random by special coins won from slot machines. The six are given identical keys and offered the chance to win two million dollars by being the first to unlock the box in a small southern New Mexico town, appropriately named Silver City. Unknown to the racers, high stakes gamblers are betting on who will win. The contestants include Whoopi Goldberg as a woman just united with her long lost daughter, Seth Green as the smarter of two brothers out to scam the world, Rowan Atkinson, of Mister Bean fame, as a narcoleptic Italian tourist, Cuba Gooding Junior as a football referee blamed for a major game upset, Jon Lovitz as head of a vacationing family, and Breckin Meyer as an uptight, fledgling lawyer worried about his potential future on the Supreme Court. A seeming blend of the 1963 comedy ITS A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD and 1981s CANNONBALL RUN, the originals are much funnier. But comedy-hungry crowds will turn out for the cast.

But the comedy is questionable at best. Less than humorous sight gags include a busload of Lucille Ball imitators, a cow dangling from a hot air balloon while two racers fight an udder war, a transplant heart bouncing around a truck and Adolph Hitler’s car driven into a war veteran gathering. Numerous crude and obscene words are used, including some by the family children, although they are mildly corrected once. Although he finally confesses, Lovitz’s father lies to his family to hide the race concept and its large winnings. Laws and rules are tossed to the four winds in the rush for riches. While greed is the motivation, charity wins in the end. Some crude sexual references are made as part of a wager, but sexual content is limited. However, frequent foul language is the major trap in RAT RACE.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (18) times Mild 7, moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (10) times S-word 6, F-word 1, other 2, finger gesture

Profanity: Several (8) times Regular 1 (J), exclamatory 7 (OMG 4, MG 2, OG)

Violence: Many times Mild and moderate, mostly slapstick (fall down stairs, children bounce on beds into each other, punches, cars damaged, car wreck, man burns fingers and lip, pushing, shoving, hit by car, dog/man fatally shocked by electric fence, cow falls on car)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (brief side breast) Near Nudity Several times (cleavage emphasized, girl in bikini, man in boxer shorts, girl lifts shirt)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: References to porno films at bachelor party, kissing couple in backyard pool, crude description of birth, sex acts discussed with prostitute)

Drugs: Cigarette smoking, alcohol

Other: Body piercing humor, reference to seeing psychic, man lies to family, girl forced to urinate out car window, gas stolen from police car, transplant heart played with, Hitlers car and German sounding speech at VFW convention, cow hung below balloon , men spray milk from udder, group bets on anything, man gets airsick, greed motivates, charity given money

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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