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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Review: John Turturro’s ‘Lebowski’ spinoff ‘The Jesus Rolls’ goes straight into the gutter John Turturro in the movie “The Jesus Rolls.” (Atsushi Nishijima / Screen Media) The Jesus Rolls embodies the shaggy dog spirit of Lebowski, but doesn’t do itself any favours by inviting comparisons to the cult hit. In the spirit of On the Road or Sideways, the boys go where the road and poon take them. Yet, as weird and difficult it is a task of comparing one's own art to a predecessor, its even more difficult when an unofficial sequel also serves as an alternative language remake of another film. The film drops audiences into Jesus’s return from prison following a stint for indecent exposure. There are genuine laughs, like a getaway chase on bicycles and some drolly homoerotic rivalries, most notably with Hamm’s character. We also get your email address to automatically create an account for you in our website. Still, Turturro’s a softie at heart, and his respect for women comes through even in strange scenes — like the one where Sônia Braga embodies the source of Jesus’ mother-whore issues — that walk the tonal high wire Blier was so committed to flouting. Would love your thoughts, please comment. “The Jesus Rolls” hits many of the same beats as the earlier film, but Turturro isn’t going for the same impact at all. He also stars, recreating the role he originated for The Big Lebowski (with the Coen Brother’s permission but not their involvement). It will be another decade before we see anything as stunning and personal in a major console release. It feels special, like a kind of prized trinket, a sun-dappled sexual fantasia, chased by the specter of death in pursuit of a life of leisure. Fair play to Turturro for going in such a strange direction, and assembling a pretty killer cast, but it’s unlikely to satisfy even the most ardent Quintana enthusiast. Once your account is created, you'll be logged-in to this account. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. © 2020 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen have no involvement in The Jesus Rolls aside from okaying its existence.) (In a nice touch, consistent with “Passione” — Turturro’s feature-length homage to Neapolitan music — the seductive Latin soundtrack’s first song is performed by two of the Gipsy Kings behind bars, rupturing any illusion of realism off the top.). Here it’s not so much a kidnapping as a willing getaway by all three, which conveniently solves the consent issue that complicates any viewing of “Going Places” today but erases the dangerous sense of anarchic disobedience that set that movie apart. Hours after being released from prison, Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) pairs up with fellow misfits Petey (Bobby Cannavale) and Marie (Audrey Tautou), and embark on a freewheeling joyride of petty crime and romance. When you login first time using a Social Login button, we collect your account public profile information shared by Social Login provider, based on your privacy settings. The Jesus Rolls might have actually worked better as a follow-up to Y tu mamá también given that it’s mostly two horny guys on the road chasing tail twenty years past their prime. November Preview: 19 TV Shows & New Movies to Watch at Home. While The Jesus Rolls is more cohesive a work than Turturro’s other films are, it’s bizarrely pointless. With his signature strut, hairnet-covered cornrows, purple-painted pinky nail and disarmingly high voice, Jesus Quintana may seem like a big joke to some (he was played that way in “The Big Lebowski”), but Turturro believes in him as a real, complex human being. Unlike Blier, he doesn’t want to burn down the establishment, playing some of the French provocateur’s most shocking scenes — including one character’s suicide — in a very different key. Their travel spree involves a free-spirited French woman (Audrey Taauou), stealing cars, group sex and a few of the director’s New York friends in supporting roles (John Hamm, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Pete Davidson). Simply put, he’s no Coen behind the camera. John Turturro wrote and directed this film, which is based on the 1974 French comedy Going Places. That bisexual encounter was there in Blier’s original, but it complicates a character who doesn’t have as much dimension as Turturro seems to think. The freewheeling Jonathan Demme energy only grows more infectious as the film drifts along, Émilie Simon’s buoyant flamenco score finds the zest in each scene, and the lightly fantastical “none of this matters” attitude feels like manna from heaven in an age of interconnected cinematic universes. Here, they’ve been aged forward, with Bobby Cannavale occupying the other role, and the political incorrectness is more of a problem. Not counting “Passione,” Turturro has directed five features to date, and it can be tough to put your finger on the tone of any one of them, if only because they defy easy categorization. Unofficial sequels are always a bit of a tedious and tumultuous endeavour, by any filmmaker, especially when the original is as beloved and hailed as the Coen Brothers cult classic The Big Lebowski. Such wild behavior made a certain amount of sense coming from two guys in their early 20s (Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere played the pair in “Going Places”) at a time when the youth were rebelling against the establishment, and before men were expected to know better. The film offers an unofficial spin-off to the Coen Brothers’ 1998 fan favourite The Big Lebowski. The Jesus rolls on. Anyone who doubted the necessity of Jesus’s return will be left pondering the point of it all. Jesus is a petty criminal who gets out of jail and is met. Gone are the Dude, Julianne Moore, and the rug that held the room together. Check box if your review contains spoilers. In the end, the project doesn’t really work. With that in mind, the writer-director-star picks and chooses situations from Blier’s controversial novel “Les Valseuses” to fuel this freewheeling joyride, about a pair of long-haired rabble-rousers who steal cars, stir up trouble and harass women at every stop. It does, but how much it fails depends on how amped up your expectations are going into the movie. The Jesus Rolls is a touching and singular work, a louche fantasy. On the other hand, a different source might have been better inspiration for coming to Jesus. Turturro and Cannavale are lots of fun together as the randy men with arrested development. Read the Empire review. Dominique, the hairdresser (Jon Hamm, who clearly relishes such comedic cameos), doesn’t appreciate the prank and draws a gun on the pair when they get back, wounding Petey in the process — but not before they can steal his French girlfriend Marie (Audrey Tautou, overplaying the cute card).
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