[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RatRace_3564.jpg]]

->"It's a horse race with animals who think, and lie... and cheat... and play dirty!"
-->EccentricMillionaire '''Donald Sinclair'''

It's another great day in Las Vegas, and casino tycoon Donald Sinclair (Creator/JohnCleese) is getting [[RichBoredom bored]]. So, six 'lucky' contestants are invited to meet with Sinclair for the gambling opportunity of a lifetime: a race to Silver City, New Mexico. The prize? A duffel bag stuffed with two million dollars, stored in a locker at the train station. Each contestant is given a key to this locker, with GPS locators, and turned loose. Along the way, in their panic to get to the finish line first they have capers involving Adolf Hitler's car, helicopters, demolition derbys, rocket cars, human hearts, and an ''Series/ILoveLucy'' convention. And cows. Seriously, the cow becomes quite important.

On the journey, they drag other people into the race, and the chaos increases.

Of course, it's never as simple as it sounds, since not only do the competitors have each other to play against, they have no idea that they are being gambled with by other multi-millionaires, betting on who will get there first. In repeated cuts back to the casino it is shown that these millionaires have no qualms about betting with other people's dignity.

Yes, it's an explicit ripoff/remake of ''ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld''. But is easily as funny as the original.

The contestants, most of whom have or end up with allies:
* Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding Jr): A football referee who [[EpicFail announced the wrong winner after a coin toss]] and is now universally unpopular (except with Vera, who's not happy at her hair-stylist, who lost $800 on the game).
* Duane (Creator/SethGreen) and Blaine Cody (Vince Vieluf): Two brothers who are trying various get-rich-quick schemes. Blaine speaks incoherently due to a recent tongue piercing. ThoseTwoGuys are a clear parody of Dingy Bell and Benjy Benjamin from the original film.
* Vera (Whoopi Goldberg) and Merrill (Lanei Chapman): Merrill is the long-lost daughter of Vera and the two have just met for the first time, when Merril is an adult and trying to launch her own business.
* The Pear family: Randy (Jon Lovitz) and Bev (Kathy Najimy), who are on vacation at the casino with their kids Jason (Brody Smith) and Kimberly (Jillian Marie Hubert). Possibly the stand in for the crazy dentist from the original movie.
* Nick Schaffer (Breckin Meyer) and Tracy Faucet (Amy Smart): Nick is a lawyer, [[OnlySaneMan the calmest and most intelligent of the contestants]]. At first he doesn't even care about the race, suspecting it to be some kind of scam, until the Cody Brothers sabotage the airport. Eventually he recruits Tracy, a hot-headed helicopter pilot, as transportation and LoveInterest. The latter might be a parody on the semi-amateur pilot from the original movie.
* Enrico Pollini (Creator/RowanAtkinson): An Italian tourist with narcolepsy. Perhaps the FunnyForeigner stand-in for Terry-Thomas' character from the original film.

Methods of travel used by the contestants include many types of cars, vans and trailers - including AdolfHitler's Mercedes Benz and a courier van transporting a human heart - a taxi, a helicopter, a train, a tour bus bound for an ''Series/ILoveLucy'' convention, a tour bus bound for a mental institution, a Monster Truck, a Hot Air Balloon, a rocket car, a horse, and when all else fails, your own two feet.

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!!This film is an example of:

* AffablyEvil: Donald Sinclair is really quite charming when he's not treating other people like toys.
* AmbiguousGender: The bartender
-->'''Owen:''' Excuse me, miss? [Bartender turns around.] Oh, sorry! I thought you were a woman!
-->'''Bartender:''' I am a woman.
-->'''Owen:''' ...
* AmbulanceChaser: Gloria Allred AsHerself. She first runs over to help a hapless bystander injured by the Cody brothers' attempted con, and then sees Enrico getting hit [[{{Irony}} by an ambulance]], thus scaring Zach into driving off with him.
* BavarianFireDrill: Owen and the bus driver.
---> '''Owen:''' And your hat.
---> '''Bus Driver:''' Why do you need my hat?
---> '''Owen:''' For her...her...'''vagina.'''
* TheBigRace: Six contestants who are selected by a group of compulsive-gambler multi-millionaires to compete in a race from Las Vegas to Silver City, New Mexico for a two million dollar prize... hilarious hijinx ensue.
* BikerBabe: Not attractive. But ''[[AllBikersAreHellsAngels really]]'' aggressive.
** Though not without reason - after all, both Mr. ''and'' Mrs. Pear had just flipped her off (Mr. Pear by accident and Mrs. Pear to badly demonstrate what he did), and Mr. Pear complimented her: "[[FreudianSlip I really like your dyke]]... er, [[VerbalBackspace bike!]]"
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: None of the main characters get to keep any of the money they spent the whole movie chasing after, but then again the money went to charity, none of the main characters get in severe trouble, legal or otherwise, and the Jerkass billionaires who were betting on the sick little game are going to end up giving a huge sum of their own money to charity.]]
* BoltOfDivineRetribution / SmiteMeOhMightySmiter: Subversion/variation, with Tracy saying to the mechanic that rips them off that it was "unchristian", the mechanic replying asking for God to smite him... and then a rocket car drives by, and makes a sonic boom that knocks down his ramshackle garage.
* BrickJoke: Pollini's narcolepsy. Also cows.
** Mr. Pear: "The Volkswagen Beetle was used by the Nazis. I would not be comfortable driving around in one." Some hours later, the Pears are driving Hitler's car.
* TheCameo:
** Oscar winner Kathy Bates as the [[CrazyCatLady Crazy Squirrel Lady]].
** And who knew [[Series/LoisAndClark Superman]] would cheat on his girlfriend?
** Plus Music/SmashMouth's concert at the end.
** Gloria Allred, probably the most noted (and ruthless) attorney in the country, [[AsHimself as herself]]. Understandably, the characters have an OhCrap moment when they inadvertantly injure someone and she's around.
* CatchPhrase: Enrico keeps repeating, "Issa ''race!''"
* ChekhovsGun: A pickup truck carrying spare car parts. One of them falls off, Zach's ambulance runs over it, and it causes the heart to fall out of its container. Later, during the motorcycle gang attack on the Pears, they run it over, causing the cigarette lighter to fly into Randy's mouth.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Vicky the hooker.]]
* CloudCuckoolander: Vera. She's actually ''excited'' by the prospect of getting scammed.
* CoincidentalAccidentalDisguise: Randy with a Hitler-moustache-looking lipstick smudge. Driving a Mercedes decked out in swastikas. Doing what appears to be Nazi salutes. As a burnt tongue makes his speech sound ambiguously German. To an audience of World War II veterans. ''And giving them [[AccidentalUnfortunateGesture the finger.]]''
* ComebackTomorrow: A non-insulting comeback: while Nick is flirting with Tracy. They're both reading the same biography of Charles Lindbergh, and she tells him that she's up to the part where "[[BlatantLies he's just had a sex change]]". A moment later he learns that she's a pilot.
-->'''Nick:''' Are there many female pilots?
-->'''Tracy:''' There's at least one.
-->'''Nick:''' When I walk away, I'm gonna think of something great to say to that.
-->'''Tracy:''' Good. Mail it to me.
** A few scenes later he comes back having realized the obvious comeback: "Two if you count Lindbergh."
* CosmopolitanCouncil: The international consortium of {{Eccentric Millionaire}}s
* CrazyCatLady: Crazy ''Squirrel'' Lady. She really loves those squirrels.
** And she is played by Kathy Bates. Which really [[NeverLiveItDown doesn't]] [[{{Misery}} help]].
* CrowdSurfing: How the movie ends. Variety II.
* DancePartyEnding: The movie ends with all the characters dancing (and then stage-diving) at a Smash Mouth concert as the band played "All Star."
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
-->'''Duane:''' What do you mean "that's it"? I'm not giving up! And neither are you! And neither am I!
* DiabolusExMachina: All of the money being accidentally donated to charity at the end. That's not to say charity isn't a good thing, but after all everyone went through, none of them got to keep a cent.
* DickDastardlyStopsToCheat: Done by the Cody brothers several times - to stop air traffic out of the airport, sabotage the Pear family's Ford Aerostar van, and to make a copy of the key so they can split up. The first time it works but they are delayed by buying a new car, the second time it makes no difference (Randy just steals another car) and the third time totally backfires when the clerk hears what the key is for and runs off with it.
* DisasterDominoes: The whole film is full of them, and much of the humor is based around how things just get worse and worse.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** Tracy upon seeing her boyfriend making out with his Ex.
** The Crazy Squirrel Lady and her 'shortcut' to those that don't buy a squirrel from her. Considering her very accurate directions, the number of cars there, and the skeleton that slides out of one, it looks like she's been doing it for a ''long'' time...
** The taxi driver who lost a bet because of Owen's bad call leaves Owen in the middle of the desert.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Right off the road.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Cranked UpToEleven with ''a helicopter''.
* DropTheCow: One tied to an hot air balloon, nevertheless.
* EccentricMillionaire: Sinclair. He even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades it]].
-->"I can do whatever I like! I'm eccentric! Raowr!"
* EpicRace
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Duane eventually gives his share away because it's what his mother would have wanted.
* EverythingsBetterWithCows: First the Cody Brothers run into a herd of cows. Duane Cody collides with quite a few while holding onto a hot air balloon. Then one of those gets snagged by the balloon, becoming a RunningGag.
* EverythingsNuttierWithSquirrels: The Squirrel Lady ends up giving Vera and Merill quite a lot of trouble...
* FanConvention: Owen hijacks a bus heading to an ''Series/ILoveLucy'' con, which is thus full of [[CelebrityImpersonator women]] ([[WholesomeCrossdresser mostly women, anyway...]]) [[CosPlay dressed as Lucy]]. A DeletedScene showed that after the bus broke down, leaving them stranded, a second bus pulls over to help... full of men on their way to the same convention, dressed as Ricky.
* FindingABraInYourCar: A truck, actually.
* FreudianSlip / VerbalBackspace: "I really like your dyke ... BIKE!"
* FunnyForeigner: Enrico Pollini.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: After the Pears get pulled over (for having Kim poop out the window among other things), one of the officers is cleaning the windshield.
* GoodFeelsGood: As reluctant as [[spoiler:Duane is to hand over his share of the money, when he does, he immediately leaps and cheers with everyone else.]]
* GotVolunteered: Done as a comeuppance to Sinclair and his associates at the end.
* HeavySleeper: The narcoleptic Enrico.
* InvoluntaryCharityDonation: Sinclair & Co. are duped into helping the charity event.
* KarmaHoudini: Two people commit pretty severe crimes, but are never seen again. Being a comedy this was probably intentional, since their acts are PlayedForLaughs and portrayed as LaserGuidedKarma themselves.
** The cab driver who maroons Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character in the desert, probably to die, just because [[DisproportionateRetribution he made a highly unpopular call in a football game that cost him money]].
** The crazy squirrel lady has been implied to willingly cause the deaths of several people by tricking them into driving right off a cliff all because they didn't buy one of her squirrels.
* LastMinuteHookup: Implied with Owen and Merril; played straight with [[BirdsOfAFeather Blaine and the piercing-girl (who ALSO has a speech impediment).]]
* LovelyAssistant: Vera and Merrill steal the rocket car by pretending to be this for the team of scientists.
* AMacGuffinFullOfMoney: The prize awaiting the racers in Silver City.
* MacGuffinMelee: ...and what happens when they get there.
* MagicalDefibrillator: When the courier Zack touches an electric fence [[BeatStillMyHeart while holding a heart]]. But it's RuleOfFunny so it's okay.
* MistakenForPedophile: Pollini.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: For the most part of the race, Enrico is in dead last place, sleeping in the lobby. Then the Cody brothers stop all air traffic out of the airport, thus preventing a heart from being flown to El Paso for transplant. That heart gets put into a van to be driven there, and on the way it stops to pick up Enrico. [[spoiler: After escaping the driver and catching a bullet train, Enrico gets to the locker ''before everyone else''.]]
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant: First of all the Heart Courier is a little ''too'' eager to take a little peek at the human heart he's transporting. Then it takes him next to no time to consider killing a 'drifter' and cutting out his heart to replace it when it's lost. And about as much time to consider Enrico as that drifter. He looks pretty disappointed when Enrico gets away too...
* NoArcInArchery: A bullet running a straight line beside a supersonic car.
* NoRespectGuy: Nick Schaffer.
* NobodyPoops: Subverted with Kimberley Pear. Poor girl.
--> '''Kimberley''': [[ToiletHumor Dad, I'm prairie-dogging it!]]
--> '''Randy''': What the hell does ''that'' mean?
--> '''Jason''': [[TooMuchInformation You know, how prairie-dogs stick their heads in and out of the ground.]]
--> '''Randy''': [[LateToThePunchline Oh...]] ''[[{{Squick}} Oh!]]'' I do ''not'' want to picture that!
* NotSoAboveItAll: Nick Schaffer starts out as the only one not convinced by Sinclair's too-good-to-be-true offer. But when he meets a helicopter pilot just as all the planes have been grounded, including all the other contestants…
* OhCrap
** Wayne Knight's character upon striking Enrico with his van... and the accident is seen by Gloria Allred.
---> '''[[AmbulanceChaser Allred:]]''' (calling down from casino balcony) DON'T WORRY! I saw the whole thing, I'll be right down!
---> '''Driver:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Shit!]] [[ThisIsGonnaSuck Gloria Allred...]]
** Sean, Tracy's then-boyfriend, when he sees her helicopter approaching while having a TwoPersonPoolParty with his "ex" Charlene. Hilariously, his first instinct is to [[WhatAnIdiot dunk Charlene under the water]], as if drowning the poor woman would hide her from Tracy.
* OnlySaneMan: Nick Schaffer could be classed as this, as he has the sanest approach to finding a way to win, and the best idea when they get to meet Smash Mouth. Too bad he teams up with Tracy Faucet...
* RichBoredom: the original reason for it.
* RunningGag:
** The high rollers keep making increasingly ridiculous bets on everything in sight.
** Owen keeps stealing clothes and the Cody brothers keep accidently ending up pursuing each other in cars.
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Nick and Tracy.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Blaine.
* ShortCutsMakeLongDelays:
** Vera and Merrill. They should have bought a squirrel...
** The Cody brothers' great idea to split up so they can take different routes lands them in a lot of bother with a hardware store guy, a hot air balloon, and cows.
* ASimplePlan: Heading to Silver City doesn't sound so hard, right?
* StandardSnippet: "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" while Duane and Blaine sabotage the radar tower, "Ride Of The Valkyries" as Tracy does her helicopter attack.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: Notably averted. Sinclair tells them that their key rings have tracking devices in them so he can track their progress, but this just makes them show up on a map graphic -- everyone watching is confused when a traffic jam grinds all of them to a near-halt.
* SurvivalMantra: As everything is going wrong around him, Owen just keeps driving the bus, repeating to himself, ''"Two million dollars. Two million dollars."''
* TakeOurWordForIt: Silver City is said to be a small town; but the nearby monster truck rally and Smash Mouth Concert/Fundraiser seem to beg to differ.
* ThoseWackyNazis: Run a Barbie Museum... dedicated to Nazi official Klaus Barbie, not the doll. Then the Pears steal Adolf Hitler's car, (Or Nazimobile, as Randy calls it) which was on display.
-->They're always pissed, honey. They're ''Nazis''. It's like it's their ''job''.
* TooDumbToLive:
** Enrico Pollini, who is so absent-minded that he got hit by a speeding car for running onto the road trying to hail a taxi, and also crazy enough to jump ''onto'' a speeding train. Later he does show enough savviness to realize exactly ''what'' the Heart Courier wants when he starts asking him if he has any relatives that would miss him.
** The Cody brothers are good at this as well, mostly for failing to think their plans through all that well. The scene at the airport tower is a perfect example of this.
* TrainEscape: Pollini jumps on a running high-velocity train - [[PhysicsGoof and embarks into it]]!
* TheUnintelligible: Blaine Cody and the Piercing Girl due to their tongue piercings.
* UnstoppableRage: Tracy's reaction to finding out her boyfriend has been cheating on her.
* WeMeetAgain: Owen gets into a taxi with a guy who lost forty thousand dollars on the game he called wrong. He gives him the slip at the airport, but then runs into him again on his way out. The taxi driver drops him off in the middle of the desert.
* WomanScorned: Tracy goes instantly psycho when she finds her boyfriend cheating on her with his ex.
* WomensMysteries: Invoked. In a subversion of MuggedForDisguise, Owen [[BavarianFireDrill convinces the bus driver to give him his uniform]] by exploiting their mutual [[YouFailBiologyForever complete ignorance]] (and {{Squick}}) about childbirth.
* WorldOfHam: Only Breckin Meyer isn't a LargeHam.
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