The Big Lebowski

Bomb Rating: 

The Coen Brothers, Joel (director) and Ethan (producer), have outsmarted themselves on their latest film. I presume they caught wind of this whole "bowling" pastime while sipping cappuccino in Greenwich Village and making fun of the bag people. Then they decided to see if they could characterize the nothingness of a bowler's existence by dramatizing it in a film. They succeeded: This film is about nothing, amounts to it, and is less interesting than.

At the center of this nihilist fiasco is Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), who prefers to be called "The Dude." He spends most of his time pondering unemployment and bowling with his friends, Vietnam vet Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi).

To his chagrin, The Dude becomes involved in a kidnapping after some thugs pee on his rug. He goes to see the Big Lebowski (David Huddleston), whom he hopes will replace his rug. Next thing The Dude knows, he's trying to make a money drop for Lebowski's kidnapped wife, Bunny (Tara Reid), while running away from various thugs and running into weird people like Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore).

If this doesn't make much sense, that's good -- it's not supposed to. You see, the Coens -- intellectuals that they are -- reveal their utter contempt for working-class existence by representing plebian culture as the playground of the absurd. How ironic, then, that their little adventure ends in nonsensical chaos, giving theater patrons reason to wonder, "What kind of unemployable losers made this movie, anyway?"

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