"John Belushi's probably spinning in his grave right now."
This film could work as one of those shows you'd find at Six Flags or Las Vegas ... a musical number supplemented by a cheesy story.As an official sequel to the 1980 smash hit The Blues Brothers, however, it's a big disappointment.
At least they didn't get some other actor to pose as Jake Blues. The late John Belushi OWNED that character. And just like John, the Jake character is dead when the movie begins, set 20 years after the original.
Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is out on parole and left to fend for himself. The orphanage he and Jake worked so hard to save is gone now. The old headmistress, now working at a hospital, is still swatting body parts, and when Elwood comes to visit, she introduces him to an orphaned kid. Elwood takes the kid with him, they team up with a titty-bar bartender (tittybartender? anyway, it's John Goodman) and round up the old band members for a road trip to Louisiana and a battle-of-the-bands competition.
Some of the blues/rock superstars who cameoed in the original BB reprise their roles here. Aretha Franklin owns a Mercedes dealership instead of flipping burgers at a diner. James Brown returns as the fiery preacher, this time at a rural tent revival. Also in on the fun is Blues Traveler, B.B.King, Steve Winwood, Jonny Lang, Eric Clapton, Travis Tritt (!), Erykah Badu and many other big names in the music biz. All the songs are well-performed and well-choreographed.
So how could a film like this go wrong? Well, for starters, there are some things you just don't do in a Blues Brothers sequel. While some moments of Blues Brothers I were quite unbelievable (Henry "Laugh-In" Gibson as a white supremacist? C'MON...), the writers here put in too much of a fantasy element. What was with the computer animation during the "Ghost Riders" performance? And that one policeman sailing into the sky and falling back down as an extra Blues Brother? And the voodoo witch that turns people into zombies and animals? All that weird shit left a bad taste in my mouth. Also, there was just not enough vehicles crashing into each other to make a proper Blues Bros. film, save for an umpteen-car pileup at only one point in the story. The ending ultimately falls flat on its Ray-Banned face.Bottom line: while the musical numbers kick ass, the plot stinks as bad as John Belushi's rotting corpse. A pity.