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The 100




Blues Brothers 2000
(1998)
Reviewed by Chris Edwards
Rating: 10 Beans

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VHS - DVD
don't believe in walking out on a movie. I've never done it, not even during "Spawn." I've never gotten closer than during "Blues Brothers 2000."

That's not a small statement, coming from me. I've been a fan of the Blues Brothers, the whole goofy, musically-dubious gestalt, the divinely silly and somehow sinister spirit of Jake and Elwood and their band. I loved "The Blues Brothers," and the older I got, the more I liked it, for all its cavalier destruction and greasy Stax/Volt soul music.

"Blues Brothers 2000" is everything good about "The Blues Brothers" turned 180 degrees. It is a lifeless, joyless, unfunky, unfunny film. The original had the barest of plots. The sequel has none at all-Some eighteen years after the events of the first film, Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is released from prison, reforms the Blues Brothers Band, and sets out to win a battle of the bands. This is of course an excuse for car chases and musical numbers, but nothing jells, the feel is gone. It's not just the absence of John Belushi as Jake. It's not just that John Goodman and Joe Morton, as new Blues brothers, seem ill-at-ease. Nobody seems to be connected with what they're doing. They're going through the motions, with none of the sense of the subversive and silly that made the first film fun.

One thing I should address-most reviews of this picture take time out to stress that, while the movie is pretty rotten, the music is GREAT! It's almost a recurring theme, as if the critics are afraid to appear unhip; "Gotta say that James Brown and Aretha Franklin are super!" But if you want to hear great soul music, just get the CDs, don't subject yourself to the movie that surrounds it. The soul-blues super combo that turns up in the last reel has a ton of talent in it, but like most enormous one-off bands, they don't have a lot of feel for one another, and they basically take turns doing their bit. And will someone please quit letting Travis Tritt into every one of these supergroup sessions, for crying out loud? I won't even go into how John Goodman sings...

And then there's the moment that nearly got me out of my chair, the low-water mark of my movie-going career. I'm not going to tell you what it is, except to say it involves an unusual method of leaving a tent. You'll know what I mean when I see it, and when you do, imagine you're in a theatre, you've paid your $6, and you're getting this for your money. See if you don't wanna leave.

For that moment, for tacking a nasty aftertaste onto a movie I really treasure, and for generally being a clumsy, aimless, titanic disappointment, I feel it is my duty to award "Blues Brothers 2000" the ultimate...ten Beans.


Other reviews for this movie:

Nathan Johnston
Fred Parsons




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