Rat Race (2001)

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A Las Vegas casino magnate, determined to find a new avenue for wagering, sets up a race for money. (IMDb)
Its over-the-top plot contrivance-driven brand of comedy isn’t particularly clever or subtle, of course, but so help me, some dud bits aside, I still laughed quite a bit (the Jewish Pear family in Hitler’s car, Enrico and Zack delivering the human heart, and Owen with the bus full of Lucys were standout storylines) and Sinclair and his buds’ ridiculous bets were a fun side-gag. The misguided attempt at a heartwarming ending sticks out like a sore thumb though (Smash Mouth+crowd surfing=eyeroll).
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

Shrek 2 (2004)

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Princess Fiona’s parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres. (IMDb)
The fart jokes and pop song performances feel a little stale this time around, but there’s still plenty of chuckles to be had in the sly one-liners (“You still look like an ass to me”), the dramatic Donkey (“I’m melting!”; “I am trotting!”), and cutesy medieval-modern culture mash-ups (see the Medieval drive-thru). The story is a little simplistic but presents with frankness the mature themes of identity and insecurity as they relate to the central couple. Stay tuned for Waits’ musical cameo.
6.5/10 (Alright)