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Overall Rating
3.03

Awesome: 11.86%
Worth A Look32.2%
Average: 16.95%
Pretty Bad: 25.42%
Total Crap: 13.56%

3 reviews, 41 user ratings


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Blues Brothers 2000
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Enjoyable sequel, if belated and needless."
4 stars

I have to confess a certain indifference to the Blues Brothers, both on 'Saturday Night Live' and in their first movie -- I always thought the Festrunk brothers would've made better heroes for an SNL comedy.

The first Blues Brothers, directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, was little more than a string of great musical numbers and endless car wrecks; it set the stage for Hollywood blockbusters as we know them today -- plotless, senseless, self-indulgent mayhem, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Blues Brothers 2000 could be described the same way, yet, oddly, I found myself enjoying it. For one thing, it's divorced from all the late-'70s Blues Brothers hype; it plays as an affectionate, nostalgic tribute. And Landis, returning as director, is clearly relieved to revisit the characters and blues greats he loves so much. It's his most relaxed moviemaking in years, and his knack for contrast -- between deadpan-cool comedy and impassioned music -- works better here than it did in the original.

Aykroyd returns as Elwood Blues, who's been in prison for eighteen years. After his release, he learns of his brother Jake's death (in a nicely restrained scene). Neither Elwood nor the movie wastes time mourning Jake (or John Belushi -- Aykroyd probably felt that John would've wanted it that way). Elwood quickly gets to work assembling his old band members, hauling along a kid (J. Evan Bonifant) who's been dumped on him by the nun at his old orphanage.

John Goodman is also along for the ride, as a bartender who hooks up with Elwood and assumes the unenviable task of filling Belushi's shoes. As a comedian, Goodman is up to the challenge (though the script, by Aykroyd and Landis, gives him very little to do); as a singer, he's a passionate belter who too often throws his considerable weight into a lyric to sell it. Mostly, I wasn't buying.

The "plot" also involves Elwood's "stepbrother" (Joe Morton), a cop who spends most of the movie chasing the band until he finally "gets the calling" and joins up. Morton, whose voice puts both Aykroyd and Goodman to shame, should have been incorporated into the band much earlier in the film. Of course, then we wouldn't have had the traditional Landis car pile-up -- which is admittedly funny here; the cars just keep piling and piling until the excess becomes almost surreal.

Landis is childlike in his eagerness to get to the music scenes, and the presence of legends energizes him. Aretha Franklin and James Brown return, as do the hardy group of veteran players in the Blues Brothers Band; in the climax, the boys go up against an all-star band whose roster reads like a Who's Who in Blues. Problem: Aykroyd and his fellow frontmen pale next to genuine blues greats (as he and Belushi did in the original). Solution: look behind the Brothers and concentrate on the masters backing them up.

Blues Brothers 2000 is probably an unnecessary sequel. Why haul the black suits and Ray-Bans out of mothballs after 18 years? Partly because John Landis needs a hit after Beverly Hills Cop III and The Stupids. Yet the movie isn't totally opportunistic. Dan Aykroyd has never lost his passion for the music (House of Blues is a life project for him), and maybe he just wanted to jam with the greats again.

Older fans, though, may feel that the Blues Brothers died with John Belushi, and they may wonder why Aykroyd doesn't feel the same way.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=112&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/26/07 11:07:59
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User Comments

9/19/13 raouljohn Ther is no accounting for taste. I for one welcomed it! 4 stars
12/12/11 mr.mike A few laughs and WAY too many musical numbers. 3 stars
3/30/08 Pamela White one that makes you want to tap your feet 4 stars
2/17/07 ManBelushi How can you say that this movie was good? I WANT BELUSHI! 2 stars
1/01/07 Werebelushi Poor John Belushi. 2 stars
10/13/06 zaw The best sequel ever!!! 5 stars
5/31/05 John Aster Habig Just a little underpar on comedy, action, and music but it had alot to live up to 4 stars
1/23/05 Jeff Anderson Surprise, a worthy sequel to the original! The Battle of the Bands finale was MEMORABLE! 5 stars
8/16/04 Rusty Klichowicz FUnky movie, Cool characters. Great Music. Belushi is gone live with it. 5 stars
12/18/03 Made In America 122 GREAT MOVIE U MOTHER FUCKER'S! WELL WUT DO U KNOW 5 stars
10/29/03 Dean Rapp for the music 4 stars
10/14/03 Nikki Jean Theophobia i agree w\ AshFan: screw Buster and bring Jake back! shame on aykroyd! he knows bettr! 3 stars
10/13/03 KooKuKrazeeKitti this is my philosophy-u cant make a sequel 2 a john belushi movie w/out john himself 3 stars
9/22/03 MellCat_Slayer_de_Jake if john was still alive, seeing that he wasnt in it mustve broke his blues-slapped heart 3 stars
9/21/03 Kitty B. i feel SOO bad 4 John. noone can EVER make a sequal to a Belushi movie W\OUT John Belushi!! 3 stars
9/21/03 CAT BLUES aykroyds great but its notin with out jake 3 stars
8/31/03 Kitty B. the blues bros ain't NOTHING w\out JOHN A. BELUSHI!!!!! 3 stars
2/04/03 Turtle Relies way too much on silliness. If ever there's a Ghostbusters 3, let's hope its better. 2 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano Without Belushi, it was the sound of one hand clapping. 2 stars
9/02/02 AshFan This movie was ruined by 2 syllables: Bus-ter! 2 stars
12/15/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) It's not about the comedy, but IT'S ABOUT THE MUSIC! 4 stars
10/29/01 Andrew Carden That Laundry-Mat Scene Was Extremly Funny and Classic! 5 stars
9/10/01 Maddie Shows you have NO CLUE about good music! Best music in a film, except maybe the first one! 5 stars
9/04/01 Henry Ginsberg Repetetive of the first film. 3 stars
6/19/01 Reini Urban uuh. 2 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright Urrgh.Sitting through this again I wouldn't wish on anyone ('cept my worst enemy,lol.) 1 stars
2/07/01 Turtle I wanted to see this so bad, and when I did, I couldn't get over how bad it was. 2 stars
1/15/01 Sklorsh After the greatness of the original, this horrible piece of garbage is a fucking insult. 1 stars
1/07/01 Mr Bill de Chicago Tired of this movie getting knocked. Good musical numbers, some laughs. 4 stars
9/27/00 Croweater The sequel that never should have been made. An insult to the original in many ways. 2 stars
9/17/00 Jed Duh of course the original will be better! But this movie isn't bad at all. 4 stars
3/27/00 Luke cool 5 stars
10/07/99 sophia962 Dan Akroyd is the Yoko Ono of comedy. I cannot describe how tacky and sick this is. 1 stars
7/07/99 Dax Blues fans (that's me), watch it for the cameos and music. All others might want to pass. 3 stars
3/14/99 Love Donkey Deeply embarrassing tired mistaske 1 stars
9/23/98 Jason Rosenbaum Hands Down, the worst movie I have ever seen. 1 stars
9/06/98 Kid Pee-Pee I want to hurt someone. I really want to hurt someone. 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 1 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Goodman's third strike. 2 stars
8/17/98 Pythomas No plot, just performance - This is something you'd find at a Vegas or Six Flags show 3 stars
8/15/98 {{{OZ}}} Offensive to the memory of Belushi 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Feb-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Jan-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  John Landis

Written by
  Dan Aykroyd
  John Landis

Cast
  Dan Aykroyd
  John Goodman
  Joe Morton
  J. Evan Bonifant
  Aretha Franklin
  James Brown



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