Courtesy of Universal Pictures
|Brothers: Dan Aykroyd (left), J. Evan Bonifont and John Goodman get down with
the sweet sounds of the gospel from the Reverend Cleophus James (James Brown) in
"Blues Brothers 2000."
'Blues Brothers 2000' Makes a Sweet-Sounding Sequel
Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman bring the band together once more for a
toe-tappin' good time
UCSD Guardian Hiatus
February 6, 1998
The mission from God that sent Jake and Elwood Blues on a wild trip through Illinois in
the original "Blues Brothers" continues in its sequel, "Blues Brothers
The original cult-classic spun off the wildly successful House of Blues chain of
nightclubs and numerous recordings. The movie left an indelible mark on the musical
"Blues Brothers 2000" harks back to the original movie. The movie is
dedicated to John Belushi, Cab Calloway and John Candy --stars that passed away in the
interim. There are also several inside jokes that will thrill any fan of the original.
The strongest feature of "Blues Brothers 2000" is the music; very few minutes
typically pass before they launch into another song.
The musical talent in the movie is outstanding. The stand-out group of brilliant
musicians include old favorites such as B.B. King, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Bo
Diddley. The film also features a new generation of musicians that includes Erykah Badu,
Johnny Lang and Blues Traveler. Of course, to forget the Blues Brothers Band would be a
Music Director Paul Shaffer must be given credit for casting the more than 40
musicians. The actual music is excellent and is the best part of the film. It's a shame
that all the musicians couldn't be showcased.
The songs that are performed in this film are nothing short of outstanding. Of course,
there is nothing that can top the Blues' dancing style.
For those that care about the razor-thin plot, "Blues Brothers 2000" focuses
on the life of Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) after he is released from prison --18 years
after the Blues Brothers' last gig. Elwood discovers that Jake (Belushi) has passed away.
Now alone in the world, Elwood must try to find a new family. Conveniently, his new
"family" appears in the next five minutes in the form of the orphan Buster (J.
Evan Bonifant) and the straight-as-an-arrow police officer Cabel Chamberlin (Joe Morton).
Cabel is the illegitimate son of Curtis (Calloway), Elwood's old mentor.
Elwood's ultimate goal is to get the band together after an 18-year separation. The
group starts off in a "stripster club" where they pick up bartender Mighty Mack
McTeer (John Goodman) as the group's new lead singer. The film ends with a battle of the
bands in the bayous of Louisiana.
Along the way, the band runs into the Russian mob, a redneck militia and a lot of old
friends that add spice to the movie.
Sadly, the weakest link in this movie is the plot. Whereas the plot in the original
seemed like four fried chickens and a Coke, the plot in "Blues Brothers 2000"
seems like two pieces of white bread --adequate, but not really satisfying.
It appears that Aykroyd and director/writer John Landis threw in a skeleton of a plot
to link musical numbers together. Characters do things in the movie without much
explanation or reason.
Of course, that is not to say that the movie doesn't have funny lines -- it does, but
not with the consistently funny zip that the original did.
The music and the energy this movie exhibits is undeniable. The plot seems to be the
only weak point in the movie, and the only thing that prohibits the viewer from having a
truly enjoyable time.
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Last updated February 10, 1998