Jesus Quintana was a breakout character in 1998’s The Big Lebowski, a cult sensation and one of the Coen Brothers’ most successful and storied comedies. This ain’t no Coen Brothers movie though. Directed by John Turturro himself, The Jesus Rolls is a fitfully entertaining if pointless excuse for a spinoff. It’s sole reason for existing seems to be to allow Turturro an entire road trip comedy and sexcapade crafted around himself and Bobby Cannavale. That’d be fine if the film were hilarious, or even if it came close to providing consistent belly laughs. There are brief moments that sing, such as when Jesus and his road buddy Petey (Cannavale) discover their third-wheel lady friend (Audrey Tautou) has finally found sexual nirvana in the arms of a twenty-something kid (Pete Davidson), and not them. A majority of the plot, such that there is one, is centered around Jesus and Petey cavorting and canoodling with Tautou in an empty house or a sultry ex-con (Susan Sarandon) in a motel room. Perhaps the pointlessness is the point, that three supposedly free-spirited, happy folks are actually living out a sad existence filled with loneliness and regret. No matter the point or lack thereof, the reason for watching doesn’t translate. Jon Hamm and Christopher Walken show up for one-hitter quitters, but they’re mostly thankless roles. Jesus Quintana would’ve been better off an eternal supporting role in one of the best films of 1998.
P.S. Quintana is no pedophile after all, so your conscience can rest easy.
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