Big Lebowski, The

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 08/26/98 15:28:02

"No Raising Arizona, but A: it doesn't try to be, and B: What is?"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

The thing about the Coens is you don't know what to expect. Ever. Except dream sequences, you can pretty much expect those always.

Big Lebowski is a departure from their last, Fargo, as every one of their films is. Some say it's a little bit of Raising Arizona, but that's putting expectations in your head, so don't think that.

"Big Leb" is it's own beast. Slow, but not boring, funny but sad, a little enigmatic, some really strange bits, some things that could have been cut, some awesome performances, some absolute brilliance.

It's the tale of "Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), an aimless alcoholic who's life has come down to bowling with his buddies and drinking single malt. When tough guys come into his home looking for something, piss on his rug and flush his head down the toilet, he figures something's rotten in Denmark.

Dude, with the help of his buddies played by a loud John Goodman and a very quiet Steve Buscemi, decides they're looking for the wrong Lebowski and goes to talk to the real Lebowski who he thinks should replace his rug. The real Lebowski is involved in a strange situation that Dude becomes entrenched in as well.

The story ain't the point, much like in Fargo. Plot twists don't really concern you, you just wanna watch these strange Americana characters go about their business.

There is one character that needs his own movie. Jesus Quintano, the bowling jesus-driven pedophile (played to perfection by John Turturro). He is so funny, SO funny, that it pains you that he doesn't have more involvement.

That being said, Big Lebowski is not a Coen classic, but by virtue of their unusually high level of "classicdom", this beats the shite out of most other films out there.

© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.