A spin-off of The Big Lebowski (1998) centered on the notable bowler, Jesus Quintana.
‘The Big Lebowski’ is one of the Coen Brother’s most enduring movies, a cult classic with a shaggy dog narrative and their trademark colourful characters. One of those characters is Jesus Quintana, played by John Turturro, a bowling rival to the film’s main characters who steals just about every scene he appears in. Like many supporting characters, there’s a suspicion that they work well in small doses, and ‘The Jesus Rolls’, a Turturro directed spin off focusing on the character, only serves to prove that point. Also acting as a remake of a controversial 1970s French film (‘Les Valseuses’), this is an odd film that isn’t really good in its own right, nor satisfying as a film about the titular auxiliary character from ‘The Big Lebowski’.
The plot picks up with Jesus shortly after his release from jail, some twenty years after ‘The Big Lebowski’, where he goes on a spree of petty crime with his friend Petey (Bobby Cannavale) and an old acquaintance Marie (Audrey Tautou). They head out on the road where they have a lot of sex, commit various crimes and bump into some colourful characters along the way, but it all feels a little staid and uninteresting. It clocks in at less than 80 minutes, which I think speaks to the lack of ideas to stretch out to feature film length, and I was left kind of wondering about what the whole point of this exercise was. It’s badly paced and every time a potentially interesting character appears, we seem to leave them to move on to the next supporting character our lead trio come across.
‘The Jesus Rolls’ isn’t a particularly good film, and I doubt even big fans of ‘The Big Lebowski’ will get much of a kick out of it, so my recommendation would be to leave it well alone and enjoy the character for his brief appearances in the Coen Brothers film (to note, the Coen’s had nothing to do with this film).
Directed By: John Turturro
Starring: John Turturro, Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, Pete Davidson, Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon, Sonia Braga, Christopher Walken, Nicolas Riera, J. B. Smoove, Tim Blake Nelson, Gloria Reuben and Nicolas Reyes