Film: The Jesus Rolls

I did not have high expectations for The Jesus Rolls (2019), but apparently I had some, because they were emphatically dashed. What a weird cocktail: John Turturro reprises his flamboyant bit character from The Big Lebowski in a remake of the controversial French dramedy Going Places? What could go wrong? In fact, nothing goes right.

The Dude’s notorious bowling nemesis Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) is released from prison, picked up by his best buddy Petey (Bobby Cannavale), steals both a car and a sexually indiscriminate woman (Audrey Tautou) from an arrogant hairdresser (Jon Hamm), and goes on a crime-spree reign of error. That’s it; that’s the movie. It shouldn’t have taken much for me to like this one, but there is almost nothing redeemable about it. The cast is game for anything, but the script fails to supply them with entertaining conflict, instead riddling a talented cast with shrill quasi-humor. Turturro and Cannavale are usually easier to like. Tautou is much less charming in English than she is in French. And the rest of the enviable cast—Hamm, Tim Blake Nelson, Susan Sarandon, and Christopher Walken, among others— breezes through in a series of forgettable, unfunny cameos. This one might have been more effectively titled Going Nowhere, or perhaps more succinctly, People Being Dicks. The sunk-cost fallacy got me over the finish line, but it was touch and go. A disappointing waste.

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