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"RAT RACE"
(2001) (Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jon Lovitz) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Mild Heavy Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None Minor *Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Various people use any means possible to race from Las Vegas to Silver City, New Mexico where the first one to arrive and open a specific locker will win $2 million.
PLOT:
Nick Shaffer (BRECKIN MEYER) is a Chicago-based lawyer who's never done anything wrong in his life, even when a friend tries to have him go see a stripper after attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas. Brothers Blaine (VINCE VIELUF) and Duane Cody (SETH GREEN), on the other hand, are consummate con artists who will try to make a buck any way possible, although they're not the brightest bunch of siblings in Sin City, a point further enhanced by Duane's recent tongue piercing making him near incomprehensible.

Vera Baker's (WHOOPI GOLDBERG) goal is clear, however, as she wants to meet her now grown daughter, Merrill Jennings (LANAI CHAPMAN), who she hasn't seen since she gave her up for adoption 27 years ago. On the other hand, Owen Templeton (CUBA GOODING JR.) is a man who doesn't want to meet anyone - in fact, he wants to lay low -- since he's a football referee who blew a coin toss and thus caused many bettors a lot of money.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Sin City is Enrico Pollini (ROWAN ATKINSON), an Italian tourist with a bad case of narcolepsy that leaves him sound asleep, often while still standing up. Family man Randy Pear (JON LOVITZ) wishes that could happen to him as he and his wife, Bev (KATHY NAJIMY) and their two kids, Jason (BRODY SMITH) and Kimberly (JILLIAN MARIE HUBERT), have arrived in town for a little vacation, although that's what Randy thinks he needs from them.

Those various characters have nothing to do with each other until ultra wealthy casino owner Donald Sinclair (JOHN CLEESE) has them randomly selected to participate in a contest he's concocted. After they're brought together, Sinclair and his no-nonsense lawyer, Mr. Grisham (DAVE THOMAS), inform them that they've placed $2 million in a locker in Silver City, New Mexico. Giving each of them an identical key to the one locker, Sinclair informs them that the first to travel the 563 miles and open the locker gets to keep the money.

At first, the contestants don't believe any of this, but they eventually realize it's real and set off on a madcap race through the desert in hopes of becoming instant millionaires. As Nick teams up with helicopter pilot Tracy Faucet (AMY SMART) and Enrico gets a ride with organ donor driver Zack (WAYNE KNIGHT), the various participants try to make their way to the small New Mexico town, all while overcoming various obstacles and run ins with interesting people, and not realizing that Sinclair and others are using them in a wager where they're betting on who will win.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of exaggerated, physical comedies or anyone in the large cast, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual references, crude humor, partial nudity and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BRECKIN MEYER plays an upstanding, law-abiding Chicago-based lawyer who's in town to attend a bachelor party, but soon finds himself intrigued by breaking the rules and the law.
  • AMY SMART plays a helicopter pilot who gives Nick a ride and along the way discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her. She then decides to become Nick's partner and uses some profanity.
  • WHOOPI GOLDBERG plays a woman who followed her psychic's advice to seek out the daughter she gave up at birth many years earlier.
  • LANAI CHAPMAN plays her now adult daughter who agrees to meet her and then teams up with her to try to win the money.
  • SETH GREEN plays a con artist who will do anything to make a quick buck and/or win the contest.
  • VINCE VIELUF plays his brother in crime and cons who can't be understood that well since he's recently pierced his own tongue and thus talks in a garbled language. In one scene, he punches a man standing in front of them in line so that he and Duane will be served next.
  • CUBA GOODING JR. plays a football referee who's infamous for blowing a coin toss. He also lies to a bus driver and his passengers so that he can borrow their bus, and drinks some.
  • JON LOVITZ plays an opportunistic family man who tries to deceive his family regarding their reason for racing from Vegas to New Mexico.
  • KATHY NAJIMY plays his loving wife who doesn't want to be separated from him.
  • BRODY SMITH and JILLIAN MARIE play their kids (she briefly use some profanity).
  • ROWAN ATKINSON plays a narcoleptic Italian visitor who acts goofy, makes various faces, and also tries to win the contest.
  • JOHN CLEESE plays the casino tycoon who selects various visitors in his casino to be "lab rats" in a secret, high roller betting contest. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • DAVE THOMAS plays his lawyer who must put up with various indignities all in the name of duty to his employer.
  • WAYNE KNIGHT plays an organ donor delivery man who accidentally runs into Enrico and then agrees to drop him off in Silver City as that's on his way to delivering a donor heart that he's rather careless with.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Sexual material involves a hooker and/or stripper showing up at a man's hotel room, acting sensuous and ready to fulfill his fantasy. This turns out to be just a bet place by others to see how she'd react to some odd requests, such as getting naked in a Jacuzzi filled with Pepto-Bismol and shaving buttocks. Some other sexually related comments also occur, while we briefly see part of a young woman's bare breast as she lifts her shirt to show a young man the various parts of her body that have been pierced (including that breast).

    Profanity consists of a possible "f" word (a character who mutters throughout the film sounds like he says it), along with at least 3 "s" words, and various other expletives and colorful phrases. All sorts of potentially imitative behavior is present, as are various instances of slapstick style violence (people being knocked around, falling or running into others or nearby objects and some property damage occurring). A few characters intentionally try to harm others (one with a gun), but everything is played for laughs.

    That includes the various characters exhibiting varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some subject matter is present that some viewers might not see as funny or as a proper source of comedy. Some scatological and crude humor is also present, while various characters drink in several scenes. If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Owen has a drink and looks a little intoxicated.
  • Vera and Merrill order mimosas.
  • Owen drinks a beer.
  • Owen has a beer, Duane has some wine and Vera has a drink as they await Sinclair's arrival.
  • Various bettors have drinks while watching the contestants.
  • Some people drink wine with dinner, while Nick has beer. He then offers to buy Tracy a drink, but she declines because she's flying.
  • Bettors have drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see that Blaine has a pierced tongue and that it's all discolored.
  • Randy's daughter states that she has to go to the bathroom as they drive down the highway. Randy states that she can go in a jar, but Bev states that girls don't go in jars. He then amends his earlier comment by stating that they need a jar and a funnel. The girl then states that she has to do number two and that she's "prairie dogging it." When Randy asks what that means, his son states that it's like a prairie dog that sticks its head in and out of the ground (referring to what's happening with his sister in regards to defecation). The parents think about that for a moment, and once they realize the implication, they both react negatively. Moments later (and from a long shot), we see the girl with her rear end sticking out the window, and then see them having been pulled over by the police and one officer wiping off the windshield (thus implying what landed on it from the girl).
  • Zack lets Enrico look at and handle the donor heart he's transporting to a hospital. Thus, we see several views of it and Enrico later has a little bit of blood on his hand from holding it.
  • Nick feigns urinating in a can in front of a policeman (with his back to him) as he and Tracy are really siphoning gas from the officer's car (and he does so to explain the sound of liquid landing in the can).
  • A cow sneezes and all sorts of mucus covers Duane's face.
  • We hear a man vomiting into a bag.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Duane and Blaine try to set up a fake accident where Blaine will trip on a glass in a hotel and they'll sue for money (but before they get the chance, a passerby accidentally slips on the glass and tumbles down a flight of stairs).
  • We see Duane gambling with money from a "help the needy" charity jug.
  • Sinclair and his cohorts have both for betting on the people as if they're rats.
  • Randy lies to his wife about promising not to gamble and then about the reason why they need to go to New Mexico (saying he has a job there rather than telling her about the $2 million). He also won't stop and let his daughter go to the bathroom since he's in a hurry to get to the money. He also spikes his family's milkshakes with some sleeping medication (to knock them out).
  • After Tracy tells Nick that she's a pilot, he can't believe it and asks if there are many female pilots (she replies there's at least one). He later lies to her about why he needs to go to New Mexico.
  • We see that someone has sabotaged the Pear's car, so in turn, Randy steals a car from a museum to get them to New Mexico.
  • Tracy finds her boyfriend frolicking in a pool with his ex-girlfriend.
  • Owen lies to a bus driver about his wife being pregnant and him needing the driver's uniform. Once he has that, he acts like he's a new driver for those he's driving.
  • It's possible some viewers might not like the various Hitler jokes (as in making fun of an otherwise serious subject) that occur in the film. The same holds true regarding a donor heart that's mishandled, Vera and Merrill briefly being mistaken as mental patients (due to being dazed and wobbly from taking a ride in a rocket car) and an offhand child molestation joke/reference (but no child is molested).
  • Zack lets Enrico look at and handle the donor heart he's transporting to a hospital.
  • Nick and Tracy try to siphon gas out of a police car.
  • Overhearing details about the $2 million, a locksmith steals Duane and Blaine's key and tries to elude them (and steals a hot air balloon in the process).
  • Vera and Merrill steal a rocket car as they try to get to their destination.
  • An auto mechanic takes advantage of Nick and Tracy and their broken down vehicle (even brandishing a gun to make them pay his highway robbery charges). When Tracy states that his behavior is un-Christian, the mechanic mocks God.
  • Duane and Blaine steal a monster truck for transportation to their destination and drive over and smash many cars in the parking lot.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Although all played for laughs, some viewers could find the following as somewhat comically tense: Duane and Blaine try to stop a large airport radar tower cone from rotating (so that no flights can leave) by climbing up the tower and attaching a cable back to their vehicle. The rotating device, however, starts to wind the cable around itself, thus pulling their open-air vehicle into the air with Duane dangling from the steering wheel.
  • The same holds true for the following. After being distracted by a woman who flashed her breasts at them, Duane and Blaine's car crashes through a fence and then ends up at the end of a line of cars at a monster truck rally. The two then get out just in time as a huge truck races up a ramp, flies through the air and then crashes down onto their vehicle (all occurring in slow motion).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun or starter pistol: Fired by Sinclair into the air to get the contestants moving.
  • Handgun: Fired by a WWII veteran at Randy and carried by a mechanic in another scene (which is fired, but no one is hurt).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to crowd noise/laughter, not all dialogue could be heard, thus the following should be considered a minimum:
  • Phrases: "Oh sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Loser of the week," "Bonehead," "What the hell /happened/does that mean/is she doing there?" "Those arrogant jerks," "Shut up," "Who the hell is it?" "Go to hell," "Jackass," "Half ass," "Idiot," "Prairie dogging" (a bathroom term - see listing under "Blood/Gore"), "Retarded," "I'm wigging out," "Pissed," "Suck on that, creep," "We're hauling ass," "Lucky bastard," "Screwed" (nonsexual), "Dyke" (slipped out in a lesbian reference), "Nuts" (crazy), "You are now giving me the freak out," "Shut up you crazy Lucy bitches (what Owen says to a bunch of Lucy impersonators) and "So long suckers."
  • Duane and Blaine try to set up a fake accident where Blaine will trip on a glass in a hotel and they'll sue for money (but before they get the chance, a passerby accidentally slips on the glass and tumbles down a flight of stairs).
  • We see that Blaine has a pierced tongue and that's apparently what's making him nearly unintelligible when he speaks (we later see that he has a pierced nipple).
  • Randy's kids jump back and forth, and up and down, on their hotel beds.
  • Duane and others drive like mad people through traffic.
  • We see some people with multiple piercings in their ears and another with a Mohawk haircut.
  • Nick and Tracy try to siphon gas out of a police car.
  • Randy and Bev inadvertently give "the finger" to a woman on a motorcycle (after he's burned his finger on a cigarette lighter and is holding it up).
  • To get away from Zack, Enrico runs and jumps onto a speeding train.
  • Randy spikes his family's milkshakes with some sleeping medication (to knock them out).
  • We see a young woman with a pierced nostril, lip, tongue and many in her ears. She then lifts her shirt to show her pierced nipples (we only briefly see this from behind her and thus only see a partial view of her bare breast with a small chain running from the front).
  • Various contestants run and jump from a stage and into the arms of concertgoers.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has the lyrics, "I believe in miracles - Where you from? --- You sexy thing, you sexy thing you."
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to crowd noise/laughter, not all dialogue could be heard, thus the following should be considered a minimum: At least 1 possible "f" word (see note below), 3 "s" words (with another few possible ones), 8 hells, 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s (with another incomplete one), 2 damns, 3 uses of "Oh my God," 2 each of "My God" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Jesus" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • In addition, Blaine appears to cuss some, but because of his numb tongue (from piercing it) and mumbling language, we couldn't tell what he was saying (although one sounded like a possible "f" word).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to crowd noise/laughter, not all dialogue could be heard, thus the following should be considered a minimum:
  • As Nick goes to check out of his hotel, the clerk tells him the price and then explains that he watched the in-room movie, "Afro Whores," eleven times and describes it being about "sexy soul sisters."
  • Some women show cleavage.
  • We learn that Vera gave up Merrill 27 years ago after learning she was pregnant and having the baby.
  • One of Nick's friends wants him to see another stripper as he's checking out, but Nick doesn't want to (and we don't see her).
  • After Nick notices that Tracy is reading the same book he is, she jokes that she just got to the part where Lindberg just had a sex change.
  • From quite a distance we briefly see a young girl's rear end sticking out of a car window (apparently to go to the bathroom since Randy won't stop), but we can't tell if it's bare or not.
  • We see Owen in his boxers and tank top in the desert after a cabbie has taken most of his clothes.
  • Tracy finds another woman's bra in her boyfriend's truck (and she stuffs it into his mouth - in a jealous, nonsexual fashion).
  • Owen lies to a bus driver about his wife being pregnant and him needing the driver's uniform and in doing so mentions her placenta, labia and vagina (needing his hat for the latter).
  • As Tracy sucks on a hose to start the siphoning process of pulling gas out of a car, Nick mentions something about "turn me on."
  • A buxom hooker shows up at Grisham's room, saying to let her in or asking if he'd rather party in the hallway (talking in a sensuous/seductive fashion). After she comes in and asks what she can do for him, he states that first they both get naked (she replies "So far, so good"), that they be wearing sailor hats and get into a Jacuzzi filled with Pepto-Bismol where he'd do her nails and she'd shave his buttocks. He then asks what that would cost, she replies that he has quite an imagination, but once she states her price, Sinclair and others suddenly pop out as they were betting on how much her services would cost (with Grisham looking relieved that his role is now over).
  • We see a young woman who's showing off her many pierced body parts to Blaine and Duane as she and the brothers drive down the road in separate cars. She then lifts her shirt to show her pierced nipples (we only briefly see this from behind her and thus see her bare back and only a partial view of her bare breast with a small chain running from the front). That girl later plants a big kiss on Blaine to make them give their money to charity.
  • SMOKING
  • A Lucy impersonator throws a cigarette out a bus window, but it blows back into one behind her, landing in another impersonator's hair, catching it on fire.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Vera gave up Merrill 27 years ago and is now just meeting her for the first time since then.
  • Randy is tired of his family and wants to get away from them, even going so far as to spiking their milkshakes with some sleeping medication (to knock them out).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • What people will do in hopes of winning a great deal of money.
  • We learn that Vera gave up Merrill 27 years ago after learning she was pregnant and having the baby.
  • Who Klaus Barbie was (the Pears unintentionally end up in a museum dedicated to him).
  • A Lucy impersonator wants Owen to stop the bus so that "she" can go to the bathroom since the door on their bus is broken and another Lucy could walk in. Owen then states that "she" doesn't have anything the other Lucys haven't seen already, and this Lucy replies, "Not necessarily" (in a deep, masculine voice).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some of the following falls into the traditional slapstick variety of unintentional/not particularly harmful violence.
  • Duane and Blaine try to set up a fake accident where Blaine will trip on a glass in a hotel and they'll sue for money (but before they get the chance, a passerby accidentally slips on the glass and tumbles down a flight of stairs).
  • Randy's kids jump back and forth on their hotel beds until they smack into each other in midair.
  • Various contestants get knocked down and end up in a pile in a stairwell.
  • Two pilots accidentally bump their heads.
  • Blaine punches a man in an airport line so that he and Duane will be served next.
  • After Randy won't stop the car, Bev appears to head-butt him, causing the car to swerve across the road.
  • We see that someone has sabotaged the Pear's car.
  • Tracy's boyfriend, Sean, and his ex-girlfriend are washed into a wall when their aboveground pool breaks and sends them and its water spilling out onto the ground. Tracy, who's up in a helicopter above them, then throws various objects (a tire iron, a paint can, etc.) down onto his truck, denting it. She then bangs the chopper's landing rung down onto the truck, with Sean then banging his head onto the steering wheel. After landing, Tracy punches Sean in the face and she and Nick take his vehicle. He then chases after them, but she closes the window on his head, eventually lowering it and allowing him to drop to the street.
  • Zack accidentally hits Enrico with his delivery van and sends the latter flying through the air and down onto the street, but the latter is otherwise okay.
  • Vera and Merrill's car goes careening down a steep hill and then flies through the air, landing on a collection of cars that have apparently done the same before them (with a skeleton falling from one of the vehicles).
  • A Lucy impersonator throws a cigarette out a bus window, but it blows back into one behind her, landing in another impersonator's hair, catching it on fire (causing the others to hit her with their purses as they try to put out the flames).
  • A locksmith pulls one man from a hot air balloon basket and kicks another to the ground as he hijacks the balloon.
  • While hanging from a rope dangling from a hot air balloon, Duane runs into various cows in a pasture. That rope eventually wraps around a cow's leg and lifts it into the air, with Duane and the locksmith slapping at each other and Duane squirting the cow's milk into the locksmith's face. Meanwhile, the convertible -- on which Blaine is hanging onto the hood - hits something and abruptly stops, sending Blaine flying through the air until he lands in a small pond.
  • The above cow briefly smacks into a bus's window while still dangling from the hot air balloon.
  • After Randy and Bev inadvertently give "the finger" to a woman on a motorcycle (after he's burned his finger on a cigarette lighter and is holding it up) and let the word "dyke" slip out, that woman and her many female friends begin smashing the stolen car that the Pears are driving (with chains, etc.), causing the car to crash through a fence and Randy to burn his tongue on a cigarette lighter that lands in his mouth.
  • An old WWII veteran fires a shot at Randy where the latter has inadvertently appeared looking, acting and sounding like Hitler.
  • We see a steaming dog fall (apparently dead) from an electric fence (Zack and Enrico were chasing the dog that had their donor heart). Zack then accidentally comes into contact with the fence, giving him a jolt.
  • A rocket car blasts by a desert gas station with the resultant sonic boom knocking down the station.
  • After being distracted by a woman who flashed her breasts at them, Duane and Blaine's car crashes through a fence and then ends up at the end of a line of cars at a monster truck rally. The two then get out just in time as a huge truck races up a ramp, flies through the air and then crashes down onto their vehicle (all occurring in slow motion).
  • Duane and Blaine steal a monster truck for transportation to their destination and drive over and smash many cars in the parking lot.
  • Vera grabs a nurse by the throat to make her open a bus door.
  • Various contestants fight to get to the locker.
  • A cow lands on a car and the two people inside, but they're not killed or apparently severely injured.
  • A car drives through a fence.



  • Reviewed July 23, 2001 / Posted August 17, 2001

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