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Rat Race (2001, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg)Rat Race (2001, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg)

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Rat Race (2001, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg)

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In crazy comedy Rat Race John Cleese is Donald P Sinclair, the owner of a Las Vegas casino. In order to increase revenue from his high-rollers, he sets up a unique game. Planting six lucky tokens in his slot machines, he ends up with a total of nine people, including Cuba Gooding Jnr as Owen Templeton, a disgraced NFL referee, brothers Duane and Blaine Cody (Seth Green and Vince Vieluf), both staggeringly dim and Enrico Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), a narcoleptic Italian. The deal is simple – six keys to a train station locker in New Mexico, where there’s a bag with $2m for the first to get there. And meanwhile, his punters will be betting on the race.

Any comparisons to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World are completely deserved but director Jerry Zucker, whose films include Airplane! and The Naked Gun, keeps the action flowing while making sure the film, unlike …Mad… doesn’t outstay its welcome. Highlights include Duane and Blaine having trouble with a cow and a balloon, the theft of Hitler’s car from a museum by one of the competing groups and Kathy Bates as a psychopathic roadside squirrel seller. The pace never flags and the gags, if sometimes broad, never fail to raise a laugh.

production details
Canada – USA | 112 minutes | 2001

Director: Jerry Zucker
Script: Andy Breckman, Corran Brownlee,

cast
Whoopi Goldberg as Vera Baker
Kathy Bates as The Squirrel Lady
Jon Lovitz as Randy Pear
Seth Green as Duane Cody
Colleen Camp as Rainbow House Nurse
Breckin Meyer as Nick Schaffer
Amy Smart as Tracy Faucet
Rowan Atkinson as Enrico Pollini
Wayne Knight as Zack Mallozzi
Cuba Gooding Jr. as Owen Templeton
John Cleese as Donald P. Sinclair
Vince Vieluf as Blaine Cody
Lanei Chapman as Merrill Jennings
Kathy Najimy as Beverly Pear
Dave Thomas as Harold Grisham
Paul Rodríguez as Gus the Cabbie
Dean Cain as Shawn Kent
Brandy Ledford as Vicky
Silas Weir Mitchell as Lloyd
Gloria Allred as Herself

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