“I say we give the Blues Brothers one more chance.”
While gathering their old band members together for a fundraising concert, ex-con Jake Blues (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) must dodge the police, an angry country-and-western band, and Jake’s jilted fiancee (Carrie Fisher).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Dan Aykroyd Films
- John Landis Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this popular “Saturday Night Live” spinoff suffers from a “slim” storyline, one-dimensional lead characters (“their dress is more interesting than their personalities”), and a lack of “good verbal wit”. Indeed, as a comedy, it falls flat nine out of ten times: even supposedly hilarious sequences — such as the Blues Brothers’ former Catholic schoolteacher (Kathleen Freeman) giving the grown siblings grief for their foul language:
— come across as cheap and unoriginal. As a musical, however, the movie benefits enormously from the talents of renowned blues artists James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and others; their appearances mark the indisputable highlights of the film.
Cameos by Carrie Fisher, John Candy, and others are wasted in this inexplicable cult favorite.
Note: The Blues Brothers was “renowned” as the most vehicularly destructive film made to date — but a little of this goes a long way.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- James Brown leading his active congregation in a rip-roaring hymn
- Belushi[‘s double] doing a series of excited flips down the aisle of Brown’s church
- Aretha Franklin’s sassy waitress singing a song while dissing her husband
- The Blues Brothers performing at a country-and-western club behind a protective fence
No, but it’s worth a one-time look simply for its status as a cult favorite.