For Film of the Year’s blogathon on Slapstick Cinema, I thought I’d look at one of my favourite movies of 2001, the remake of It’s a Mad, Mad World, Rat Race.
Eccentric Las Vegas casino owner Donald Sinclair comes up with the idea to implement special chips in his slot machines, to which the recipients of are invited to partake in a human rat race to Mexico, where the first there wins a cool $2 million. The participants include mercenary con artist Seth Green and his brother, Cuba Gooding Jr’s shamed referee and sensible Breckin Meyer. At first, they all laugh and treat the whole thing as a joke, but soon, everyone is trying to get to the destination, whether it be by car, plane, or… cow?
It is my opinion that Rat Race has one of the finest ensemble casts known the cinema, and it’s truly refreshing to see each of the actors are having a huge amount of fun. Whether it’s seeing Rowan Atkinson getting electrocuted, Seth Green and brother nearly getting run over by monster trucks or Jon Lovitz accidentally doing a Hitler impression at a WWII memorial, it truly is a hilarious film. And here are my top 5 moments of slapstick in it:
05. The attempted con, where Rowan Atkinson slips on a tumbler. Visual comedy at its finest.
04. Rowan Atkinson, holding the human heart, getting electrocuted.
03. When the race begins, all the participants come rushing down the stairwell.
02. In the helicopter, when the evil lady throws a block on superman & cracks his head open.
01. The brothers being driven up a tower.
And here is a terrific re-hash of Rat Race as a thriller: