Blues Brothers 2000

Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: John Landis

REVIEWED: 02-23-98

John Landis' 1980 movie The Blues Brothers was a comedy that rang down the curtain on the '70s. A deadpan parody of car-crash-o-ramas like Cannonball Run, it starred two original Not Ready for Prime Time Players in roles they originated on Saturday Night Live. All the symbols of the decade got run through the irony mill.

So when John Landis and Dan Aykroyd sat down to write Blues Brothers 2000, why did they decide to remake the original, right down to the retread plot? And why did they bring back characters from the original in purely in-joke roles? In short, why didn't they update the franchise, as the millennium-anticipatory title suggests? As it stands, Blues Brothers 2000 is a mule of a movie--a parody of a parody, self-referential, sterile, and almost at a standstill.

I'm probably the target audience for the sequel, since the original still holds a cult appeal for me. (Friends often hear me mutter, "Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips.") All I could get out of BB2K, however, were the terrific musical performances (when unmarred by Aykroyd or John Goodman). During the long, slow progress of the plot, one can amuse oneself by spotting musical legends and praying for their continued health. R&B god Junior Wells looks spectral (and indeed he expired before the film's release), while Sam Moore and Wilson Pickett perform with encouraging liveliness.

The best way to see Blues Brothers 2000 is to stand outside the theater doors reading a good book, then enter whenever you hear music. Suggestion for Landis and Aykroyd: Next time, skip the concept and just film the concert.

--Donna Bowman

Full Length Reviews
Blues Brothers 2000
Blues Brothers 2000
Blues Brothers 2000

Capsule Reviews
Blues Brothers 2000

Other Films by John Landis
An American Werewolf in London
Susan's Plan

Film Vault Suggested Links
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Dudley Do-Right
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

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