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Rat Race
Review written by: Alex Sandell


Cuba Gooding Jr. and some guy 
dressed up like a girl after reading 
the screenplay to Rat Race.

What's the story?:

A bunch of has-been celebrities (Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Lovitz, etc.) are brought together by a casino owner (John Cleese) after winning a medallion which directs them to a conference room where they are given the chance to win two-million dollars, if they can beat everyone else to the cash.  Then they all run around, in pursuit of the purse, and tedious slapstick stuff happens.   

So, how is it? (Get to the point, already.)

Is David Manning suddenly working for UPN?  My jaw literally hit the floor when I saw an ad for Rat Race which said something along the lines of, "this is the funniest movie ever."  After attending the screening of this film nearly two weeks ago, I decided against writing a review for it.  It was a stupid movie with a few good laughs and a few-hundred misfires.  It wasn't really misrepresented in the commercials, at the time, and I figured anyone that thought they were funny would think the movie was funny, and anyone that thought they were hideously lame would think the movie was hideously lame.  Because of the obviousness of the advertising, I didn't even think that Rat Race was worth reviewing.  Then I saw that overly zealous UPN quote, and I had to throw in my two cents.  

I hate to question the integrity of somebody else's review in the review that I'm writing, but how could anyone think that this was the funniest movie ever?  There are a lot of seriously funny comedies out there, and this isn't one of them.  It tries so hard at being one of those ensemble farces of yesteryear, that it's forgetting that those ensemble farces of yesteryear, more often than not, turned out to be lousy attempts at making a few million dollars through a couple of cheap laughs.  

The cast is dead on arrival.  They are trying so hard to be zany, that they just come off as annoying. Not to mention, there is such a Love Boat thing going on here, with all the washed up celebrities being brought together in an attempt to equal one genuine star, that it makes you start feeling sea sick.  This would have been better with complete unknowns, rather than the "F" list "stars" that we're stuck watching.

If the thought of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jon Lovitz together in one movie turns your crank, by all means, go and see Rat Race; you'll laugh harder than you have since the last guy got hit in the nuts with a tennis ball on America's Funniest Home Videos.   If Whoopi's one-liner's in Hollywood Squares have you in stitches, get yourself to a theater and chuckle 'til you choke.  If you're one of those diehard John Cleese fans that think everything he does, no matter how trite it is, is the funniest thing since the last thing he did, get in line for your ticket, because he hasn't been this funny in a movie since the last time he was in a movie!

For the rest of you, trust me, the positive reports that you've heard about this film have been greatly exaggerated.  Rat Race is about as funny as an open-casket funeral where you're the guest of honor.  Maybe that United PARAMOUNT Network guy claiming that it was the funniest movie "ever" was really just suicidal, and is in desperate need of psychiatric help.  I'm sure the fact that this is a Paramount release has nothing to do with it.  "Yeah," as Jon Lovitz would say, "that's the ticket!"   

What does it make you feel like eating?

Cow, but that's probably just to stop them from talking.

What are you selling us here???

"The funniest movie ever!" - UPN

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Funniest thing John Cleese has done since the last trite thing that he did." - Rat Race

On a scale of 1-10?

2 (1 bonus point given for Seth Green, because I think he's a cool guy)

Agree? Disagree? Email me at alex@juicycerebellum.com 

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Text (Copyright) 2001 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].  If you copy this, without my permission, I'll sic Jon Lovitz on you!

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