Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen, 1998) Review

John Goodman seems to be in a lot of things I've watched recently. The Hangover Part III, Monsters Inc. and an episode of the Simpsons so I guess I would watch another of his films and decided to pick out this film. I've seen so many parodies of this film in random cartoons (you know, for kids) so I thought I would find out what the source of all this.

In the early 90s, a name known as 'The Dude' (Jeff Bridges) gets visited by some henchmen who claim that the Dude, real name Jeff Lebowski, has their money and ends up peeing on his rug (makes sense in context). The Dude, having none of this, goes to find the real Lebowski (David Huddleson). Lebowski reveals that he will pay the Dude in order to find his kidnapped wife (Tara Reid) so that they can put all this behind them. The Dude and his friend Walter (John Goodman) end up on a mission to solve the case.

This film should be labelled as Red Herring The Movie. This over use of red herrings makes the film unique and also makes the case much more simply than it should be making things over the top...which I love. It's such a mellow film (for the most part) that I can help but be enthralled by Jeff Bridge's performance as The Dude accompanied by John Goodman. Steve Buscemi is good but his character has absolutly no reason to be in this film considering he does nothing to advance the narrative. Perhaps another red herring, hmmmm?

This doesn't necessarily contribute to the film's score (review score not musical) but the fact that this is not a sequel, remake, reboot, prequel nor does it have any of these is nice. It seems like there aren't that many lone films left but this can never be touched! It's uniqueness and ability to survive of random scenes that come out of nowhere that make no sense proves to do the film some good. It's an exquisite film that may seem weird but you have to be open minded.

The Big Lebowski is certainly a strange film for a specific target audience but it's quite clever as it knows how to fool the audience. The actors are great with some excellent characters but some, while enjoyable, are kind of useless. In terms of emotion, it's all over the place. I guess it's primarily a comedy, if I had to but this into a genre. So go and see Jeff Bridges at his best and if you need some more John Goodman...I really don't need more John Goodman...

A clever and mellow film that knows how to fool the audience topped with some great actors.

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