Jesus Quintana gets out of jail and goes on an
adventure of sex and violence with two old friends.
The Jesus Rolls (2019)
Written and Directed by John Turturro
Starring John Turturro, Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou,
Susan Sarandon, Pete Davidson, Jon Hamm, J.B. Smoove, Christopher Walken, Tim Blake Nelson, Sônia Braga
Spin-Off of 1998's The Big Lebowski
Remake of 1974's Going Places
Based on the novel Les Valseuses by Bertrand Biler
For twenty-two years, the character of Jesus Quintana has been a staple of Coen Brothers mythology and one of the weirdest parts of The Big Lebowski. That film is arguably the Coens' masterpiece, and many (including myself) consider it untouchable. It doesn't need a sequel, it doesn't need a remake. When The Jesus Rolls was announced, I wanted so badly to be excited. It was a spin-off about the Jesus that was being helmed by the man himself, John Turturro. What could possibly go wrong? Well, Turturro was overly ambitious. He wanted a spin-off of Lebowski starring Jesus Quintana, but he also wanted to remake the 1974 French comedy Going Places. The two very distant concepts mesh in this dull, uninspired, aimless train wreck that forever puts a black mark on the character of Jesus Quintana.
The film stars out decent enough. Jesus is released from jail to a Latin tune, where he meets his old friend Petey (Cannavale). Before that, we get a visibly disinterested Christopher Walken as the prison warden, warning Jesus not to slip up again. We also find out exactly how Jesus became known as a "pederast." Turns out, it was a misunderstanding. That's a retcon I can understand. It's harder to root for your hero when you know he's a pervert. The rest of the film is Jesus and Petey, and later their girlfriend Marie (Tautou), getting into random shenanigans. There's no plot and there's no point. Turturro is clearly too old to play Jesus Quintana anymore. The character is no longer as animated and aggressive as he once was.
Lebowski fans will find themselves alienated and annoyed, since they're the only ones who are going to watch this movie anyway. It was unnecessary, and completely pointless. Having Jesus in the movie adds nothing to the otherwise directionless storytelling that I guess is supposed to be the remake of Going Places. Frankly, Turturro should be embarrassed for producing this complete dumpster fire.