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Rat Race

By Adele Marley | Posted

Jerry Zucker's uneven ensemble/road comedy Rat Race is all about abundance. There are gags, loopy characters, bizarre scenarios, and general zaniness to beat the band--just short of the point of overkill, actually. This It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World-style romp throws together an unobjectionable assembly of supporting actors (Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green) funny folks (Rowan Atkinson, Dave Thomas, Jon Lovitz) and un- or little-knowns (Amy Smart, Lanei Chapman, Vince Vieluf), all playing characters who run a gauntlet to get their mitts on a $2 million jackpot. The randomly selected contestants are the pawns of an eccentric, toothy casino owner (John Cleese), who attracts high rollers to his establishment by concocting elaborate games of chance like this Las Vegas-to-New Mexico gold rush. Sure, this Rat overpacks, but its scattershot approach (in keeping with the traditional m.o. of Airplane! and Police Squad! co-creator Zucker) means that the film is engaging and humorous at least part of the time.

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