Rat Race (2001)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

Canada/USA, 2001.  Paramount Pictures, , , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A host of stars (including three Academy Award winners) wasted their time to appear in this so-so rehash of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Hotel manager  is constantly looking for new ways to entertain his bored billionaire clients who are willing to bet money on anything, so he comes up with a scheme to get a group of contestants to race across the country in pursuit of a bag with three million dollars in it. Whoopi Goldberg plays a mother just recently reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago; Cuba Gooding Jr. is the football referee whose recent flub on the field has him hiding from every football fan in the world;  is one of two brothers looking for a quick buck;  is a law student who refuses to have any kind of wild fun for fear of damaging his future, all changed by his meeting an off-kilter helicopter pilot () with a killer smile. Best of all these is  and  as a couple with two children vacationing in Las Vegas and dealing with some family problems. None of these plotlines ever go anywhere, despite obvious promises to do so at the beginning of the film, but there are some scenes that are funny enough to last you throughout its running time. Performances are generally good, especially cameos by Kathy Bates and , but the bad bits (Smart in a pitifully unbelievable performance, the pointless script) might leave you more frustrated than entertained.

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