This comic update of the world crystallised by Raymond Chandler charts the disastrous involvement of laidback dopehead Jeff 'the Dude' Lebowski (Bridges) in a kidnapping case involving the wife of his millionaire namesake (Huddleston). The Dude is hired as bagman and of course finds himself increasingly at risk as he makes his way about an LA populated by the rich, strange and dangerous. Nor do his bowling buddies help: Donny (Buscemi) is frankly several pins short of a strike; while Walter (Goodman), a crazed, irascible Viet vet, is so determined to stand his (and the Dude's) ground that he causes more trouble than he solves. Immensely inventive and entertaining, the film may not have the enigmatic elegance or emotional resonance of Barton Fink or Fargo, but it's still a prime example of the Coens' effortless brand of stylistic and storytelling brilliance. Thanks to Roger Deakins' gleaming camerawork, T-Bone Burnett's eclectic soundtrack selection and the Coens' typically pithy dialogue, it looks and sounds wonderful. Moreover, far from being shallow pastiche, it's actually about something: what it means to be a man, to be a friend, and to be a 'hero' for a particular time and place.