Anthony's Film Review
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The premise and characters were entertaining and funny enough to keep me watching...
The first thing about The Big Lebowski that draws you in is how it starts. You have two unrelated men, both named Jeffrey Lebowski. One is a millionaire in a wheelchair. The other, who calls himself the Dude, is an unemployed loser who goes everywhere in a T-shirt, shorts, and robe. There are thugs who want to steal money from the millionaire Lebowski, a.k.a. The Big Lebowski. However, because of an unexplained mix-up, the thugs break into the Dude's apartment instead. One of them even urinates on the Dude's rug.
The Dude does meet the Big Lebowski, but only because the Dude thinks the man with the same name should be the one to pay for a new rug. The Dude soon learns about a ransom plot involving the kidnapping of the Big Lebowski's sexy young trophy wife, Bunny Lebowski. Because he was the one mistaken for the millionaire, the Dude is asked to drop off a suitcase containing a million dollars at a location designated by the kidnappers. From there, the situation involves more people who want the money and gets so complicated that if I were to go into more detail, you won't enjoy the movie as much.
Regarding the supporting characters, the Dude often spends time at the bowling alley with two other friends. One is Donny, and the other is a big guy named Walter (John Goodman). This is a guy who frequently talks about his experiences in the Vietnam War, uses his religion as an excuse for not driving, and swears a lot no matter what he is talking about. He's my other favorite character besides the Dude. Let's not forget Maude Lebowski, the daughter of the Big Lebowski who is a feminist creating sexual art, as well as the thugs, a trio of Nihilists, and the Stranger who narrates part of the film.
The movie is funny enough that it kept me from getting bored. The dialogue between the Dude and Walter, especially when they're arguing, sticks with you because of the casual way they talk. This movie probably has as much swearing as Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. I also found the dream sequences funny, including one where the Dude is flying like Superman and following his new rug being used as a magic carpet. The plot leading up to the big twist is amusing, especially when the characters find ways to deal with unexpected complications.
However, the end somewhat disappointed me. There is a twist at the end, which I thought was nice, but when I tried to relate the other plot elements with it, I couldn't do it. It was like trying to force puzzle pieces into holes that don't fit them. I don't mind thinking a little while watching a movie, but it should not take more than several seconds. I wanted things to wrap up nicely and cleverly, and this movie went only partially there.
In any event, I did like the movie up until this point. I can at least say Jeff Bridges and John Goodman were amusing choices to play two amusing characters that made me laugh from time to time. It's a decent piece of work by the Coen brothers.
For more information about The Big Lebowski, visit the Internet Movie Database.