ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Rat Race (2001), PG-13
Analysis Date: September 16, 2001
CAP Score: 45
CAP Influence Density: 1.22

Visit this CBX member
Christian Banner eXchange

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.

NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

RAT RACE (PG-13) -- and other matters of behavior pushing the envelope of acceptability.

Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), an obsessive gambler and rich man of Las Vegas hoping to boost the "fun" of a gaggle of his rich clients orchestrated them to bet on whom of a group of six men and women could get to Silver City, NM first. Whomever does gets $2,000,000.

Sinclair placed six special gold coins in slot machines in his casino. On each coin was instructions to come to a meeting for the chance of a lifetime. The six lucky recipients were told of the deal and were advised that the only rule was there were no rules. Each participant was given a key to train station locker 001 which contained the bag-o-money and was teamed up with somebody somehow along the way. As each team performed whatever they needed to do to get there first, Sinclair coordinated bets on who did what first, the most, the worst, the least, etc. During a private plane flight to greet the contestants at the train station, Sinclair even conducted a bet among the rich men who would launch his lunch first as the pilot did an assortment of airborne acrobatics.

The cast included some high wattage performers who have passed the high point in their careers plus some lower wattage performers having their own talents with which to be reckoned. Just before the special meeting Vera (Whoopi Goldberg), one of the six race participants, was paired up with her long separated daughter Merrill (Lanai Chapman) who was given up for adoption after an unwanted pregnancy who has become a driven business woman with a cell phone for an ear. Vera invited Merrill to tag along in hopes she could bond with her.

Nick (Brecklin Meyer), participant in the race, was a wholesome lawyer of strong character. Helicopter pilot Tracy (Amy Smart) teamed up with him through a chance meeting in an airport that was shut down because of a failed airport traffic control and guidance system. Tracy was conveniently on her way to deliver the helicopter to a city near Silver City for a paint job. Tracy was sort of high strung. She does a "howdy" fly-by over her boyfriend's house. Having discovered he has swimming company behind her back, she plummets the chopper at her boyfriend and his "guest" who has her legs wrapped around him.

Opportunist Duane (Seth Green), participant in the race, and Blaine (Vince Vieluf) his very affectionate, hole-in-the-tongue (and elsewhere) brother disabled the vital guidance system of the airport to prevent Nick from getting to the prize first. Yes, this is an attempted sabotage of air flights in this pre"911" movie. Fortunately for the Nick/Tracy (--pause-- :o) team, helicopters did not rely on the disabled airport guidance system so the Nick/Tracy team was able to take off.

Owen (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) was an NFL football referee who committed the "unpardonable sin" by getting a coin-toss call wrong. A lot of people lost a lot of gambled cash. The taxi driver taking Owen to Silver City was one of them. Owen loses his clothes at the hands of a taxi driver (who dumped Owen off in the desert) who lost a bundle on Owen's bungled NFL coin-toss call. Through a series of lies, Owen convinces a tour bus driver to part with his clothes so Owen could pass as a replacement bus driver. Then Owen commandeered his bus load of Lucy Riccardo wannabes on their way to a convention of some sort. Not all the Lucy wannabes were female.

Mr. Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), a dizzy narcoleptic Italian without a brain in his head who spoke with more of an east Indian accent than Italian, became paired up with a zany, dishonest heart transplant driver who hit Pollini with the ambulance. After being hit, Mr.Pollini found the driver was on his way to a city near Silver City, NM and cabbaged a ride. The driver was more than happy to give Mr. Pollini a ride since he just hit Mr. Pollini.

Randy (Jon Lovitz) was the participant who was forced by his wife, played by Kathy Najimy, to take her and their two undisciplined kids along in the race. Along their way the daughter has to potty and spies a "Barbie Museum" sign. Arriving at the Barbie museum they find it run by a combination of punk and neoNazi skin heads. Upon leaving, Randy finds his car vandalized so he stole the "museum car" which was Hitler's fancy car with all the Nazi symbols on it. By some reckless maneuvers of a female biker gang, Randy and his family end up on the stage of a WWII veteran's convention, with Hitler's car on the stage with them.

There are the six participants in the race for the $2,000,000 and the unsuspecting partners. Noted above are but a few of the mishaps they each encounter, many of which involve toilet humor and other matters of behavior pushing the envelope of acceptability. Of course, the first example of pushing the envelope in this PG-13 is flatulence. There is a bar scene with drinking body piercing, planning a crime and dressing to maximize the female for and/or skin exposure. Soon comes admission of immoral sex and an invitation to a strip tease dance. Freckled within the plot as several examples of child arrogance toward parental authority. Mixed in with it all are many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary demonstrating the users ability to use one-syllable words. There was even nipple piercing, both male and female and both seen. Vieluf plants a big wet liplock on Green. Following through with the kind of humor the MPAA thinks our preteens and teens want are examples of inappropriate touch, lies to mask behavior, gambling, adults in underwear, leg wrapping, vandalism, theft, beatings, reckless vehicular endangerment.......

The list of findings in the Findings/Scoring section provides a complete list of findings. There are two full pages of recording logs of aberrant behavior findings, 28 lines per page, many with multiple occurrences of the same behavior noted. Yes, this flick was R-13. I suspect the PG-13, at least what it was, is going bye-bye. Too many people are buying the whole bill of goods [Ps. 12:8; Matt. 18:7].

An age-old excuse was used by Owen when approached by one of the Lucys who was complaining that the bus lavatory door latch was broken and that someone might see. The excuse Owen used was that the other Lucys won't see anything they haven't seen before. Though the script turned away in a different direction to point to transvestism, focus for a moment on the excuse. The excuse seems to try to excuse inappropriate behavior by repetition of it. It sounds a lot like the excuse many use regarding the use of foul language in entertainment: "I hear worse every day at school." The first time a sin such as cussing has been committed does not excuse the second, or the third, or the thousandth. Nor does the thousandth, or the third or the second time excuse the first. The use of such rationale to excuse repetition of questionable behavior is piling sin upon sin [Is. 30:1].


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively extreme vulgar and vile entertainment with impunity] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to willingly embrace it].
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious [{carar {saw-rar'}: rebellious, stubborn, revolters] children, saith the LORD, that take counsel [adopt ways, behavior], but not of me; and that cover with a covering [mask, hide, excuse behavior that violates His Word], but not of my spirit [by vain and empty reasoning], that they may add sin to sin: [While this verse is speaking to the parent it applies to the parent as well, as do all admonishments for children.]

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Rat Race (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • planning crime
  • reckless vehicular endangerment - repeatedly
  • beatings
  • attempted sabotage of air flights
  • vandalism
  • theft - repeatedly
  • implication of multiple murders
  • gunfire to kill
  • firearm threat
  • destruction of private property

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 34 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • flatulence
  • tongue piercing - repeatedly
  • child arrogance against parental authority
  • lie to wife to mask plans
  • theft of clothes as vengeance
  • punk skinhead neoNazi museum
  • vulgar gesture - repeatedly
  • nipple piercing - repeatedly, both male and female, both seen, female with connective chains
  • facial piercing

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • admission of immoral sex
  • invitation to strip tease
  • inappropriate touch
  • adults in underwear, repeatedly
  • leg wrap, female around male
  • oral sex innuendo
  • adult males kissing by mouth
  • additional homosexual presence and suggestion
  • suggestive eye movements
  • vulgar talk with a prostitute
  • stripping to underwear
  • female nudity, upper

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar/drinking
  • drugging wife and kids into cooperation

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • ten uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • encouraging others to sin
  • gambling
  • expressing ecstasy at breaking rules

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Go back to the CAP Reports Page
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP)