The best sidekicks complement their heroes perfectly, and no hero of the ’90s had a better foil than Walter Sobchak, bowling buddy of Jeff Bridges’ the Dude in The Big Lebowski. This lumbering Vietnam vet is everything the laid-back Dude is not: militant, high-strung and obsessed with rules. He’s also, in many ways, a much better detective: though his hunches are frequently wrong, he shows more initiative in getting to the bottom of the movie’s shaggy-dog mystery than the Dude ever does. Simultaneously polite and profane, Walter is a perfect comic creation, and John Goodman gives one of his finest performances ever in the role, bringing a hilarious dignity to Walter’s outbursts. Is he wrong? No, never.
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