Blues Brothers 2000
|Blues Brothers 2000|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Landis|
|Music by||Paul Shaffer|
|Edited by||Dale Beldin|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Blues Brothers 2000 is a 1998 American musical comedy film that is a sequel to the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, written and produced by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by Landis, the film stars Aykroyd and John Goodman, with cameo appearances by various musicians. The film is dedicated to John Belushi, Cab Calloway, and John Candy, cast members from the original film who had died prior to the sequel's production, as well as Junior Wells, who died one month before it was released.
Elwood Blues is released from prison after serving eighteen years for the events of the previous film and is informed that his brother, "Joliet" Jake Blues, has died. He is picked up by Matara, a friend who works for his former drummer Willie Hall, who wants to help him get back on his feet.
Before meeting up with Willie, Elwood asks to be dropped off to see Sister Mary Stigmata who is now working at a hospital after the St Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage was closed, despite Jake and Elwood's actions in the previous film. She informs him that Curtis, his surrogate father, has also died, but has fathered an illegitimate son, Cabel Chamberlain, who is an Illinois State Police commander, and introduces him to an orphan, Buster, to suggest mentoring him.
Against Stigmata’s advice, Elwood tracks down Cabel at his police headquarters, to inform him of his real father and asks him to join The Blues Brothers Band that he plans on reforming. Cabel, upset by the news and offended by the suggestion to join him after seeing Elwood's and Jake's criminal history, throws him out of the building where Buster steals his wallet containing enough money for Elwood to purchase a new Bluesmobile.
Elwood and Buster begin tracking down members of the former band to recruit them from their current jobs. Willie runs a strip club and joins after it is burned down by the Russian mafia, after Elwood enlists the help of Willie’s barman, "Mighty" Mack McTeer, to try and convince them to leave the club alone; Mack becomes the new lead singer of the band. Two other members, Matt "Guitar" Murphy and "Blue" Lou Marini, join again against the advice of Murphy's wife, with whom they now run a Mercedes-Benz car dealership. Three members (Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Tom "Bones" Malone) work at a radio station and quickly agree to join, Alan "Mr Fabulous" Rubin (who now works as a funeral director) is forced to join against his will after Elwood insults the Russian mafia (for whom Mr Fabulous has organised a funeral) again, and finally Murphy Dunne joins after his boss at a call center gives him permission.
The newly reformed band uses their old agent, Maury Sline, to book them a show. On the way to the show, they are followed by Cabel and the Illinois state police, who are now looking for Elwood for stealing Cabel’s wallet earlier, and believing that he has kidnapped Buster. While avoiding a police roadblock Elwood interrupts a white supremacist militia group meeting, unintentionally destroying their boat full of explosives they planned to use. The band arrives at the show to find they have been mistakenly booked as a Bluegrass Band, but they perform the show anyway. Afterwards, they evade capture by the police. However, en route to the next concert, the Bluesmobile runs out of fuel and the band threatens to quit, with Elwood acknowledging defeat. But Buster inspires Elwood to give an impassioned speech defending blues music, and the band relents, accompanying him again - save Blue Lou, who, in a rare show of intelligence, goes to get fuel for the Bluesmobile.
The police catch up with the band at a tent revival where Elwood's old friend Reverend Cleophus James is preaching. Before Cabel can arrest them he has an epiphany brought on by Reverend Cleophus that he should join the band instead of being a police officer - and magically trades in his police uniform for a Blues Brothers black suit, black hat and sunglasses. The band evades capture once more now with Cabel joining them who the police believe they have brainwashed.
The band continues on to their next booking, a tryout for a Battle of the Bands put on by Queen Mousette, allegedly a 130-year-old cannibalistic voodoo witch. Queen Mousette requests the band play something Caribbean, and when Elwood explains they don’t play that kind of music, she casts a spell on them to play anyway. Mousette accepts the band into the battle; however, at the song's conclusion, Elwood, Mack, and Cabel are turned into hollow plastic statues, forcing the band to stay overnight.
At the show, Queen Mousette undoes the spell to allow the Blues Brothers band to play against the Louisiana Gator Boys; a supergroup of blues musicians, one of whom is Malvern Gasperone, who sold Elwood the Bluesmobile. The Louisiana Gator Boys win the battle. After the battle, the show is interrupted by the arrival of both the Russian mafia and the militia group from earlier, both of whom are turned into rats by Queen Mousette when they threaten a shootout. The Illinois state police arrive, but stand down after Cabel informs them that he is all right and with the band by choice. Elwood suggests that two bands jam together on stage, which they do, and when Stigmata arrives, he uses the performance as cover to say goodbye to Cabel and Mack and escape with Buster, with the police giving chase.
Cast and characters
Bands and musical guests
The Blues Brothers Band
The Louisiana Gator Boys
Kathleen Freeman, Frank Oz, Steve Lawrence, Shann Johnson, and Jeff Morris appeared in cameos, all reprising their roles from The Blues Brothers film. Nia Peeples portrays a state police lieutenant who serves as Cabel's second-in-command, Darrell Hammond as Robertson the militia leader, John Lyons as a Russian thug, and Paul Shaffer as Marco, Queen Moussette's majordomo. The film is dedicated to John Belushi, Cab Calloway, and John Candy, cast members from the original film who had died prior to the sequel's production.
Blues Brothers 2000 made it into the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest car pile-up, a record previously held by the original film. 63 cars were used in the scene after Elwood says to the band, "Don't look back." Inevitably, everyone looks back and sees the massive pile-up. Portions of this scene were filmed in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The movie held the record for Most Cars Destroyed in the course of production for nine years at 104, one more than was wrecked in The Blues Brothers, until G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra surpassed it in 2009 with 112 cars destroyed.
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The film was originally intended to include Brother Zee Blues (Jim Belushi, brother of John Belushi). But due to an already existing television deal (Belushi had been cast in the ABC drama Total Security), Belushi was unable to appear and the script was altered to include Cab Blues (Joe Morton). This character was named Cabel as an homage to Cab Calloway, who died four years prior to the film's release. (His character Curtis was revealed to have died in the film along with Jake.)
The Blues Brothers' original keyboardist, Paul Shaffer, had been committed to Gilda Radner's one-woman show on Broadway and was therefore unable to appear in the first film. He was replaced by actor-musician Murphy Dunne. Shaffer does appear in Blues Brothers 2000, taking a week off from Late Show with David Letterman to film his role as Queen Moussette's majordomo and emcee of the Battle of the Bands (Warren Zevon took his place that week on Letterman's show). Shaffer shaved his head for the role, a change in appearance he chose to retain permanently.
During the "Funky Nassau" number, Shaffer in his character of "Marco," asks to cut in on keyboards, which Murph allows. This marks the first time on-screen that the Blues Brothers Band played with their original keyboardist.
The film grossed a little over $14 million in box office sales in North America.
The film received mixed reviews, averaging a 46% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 46 reviews, and a critical consensus that reads "Braving onward without the late John Belushi, Blues Brothers 2000 gets the band back together with a spirited soundtrack, but a mission that's far less divine". It earned a D score from Entertainment Weekly. Roger Ebert gave the film 2 stars, saying, "The film is lame comedy surrounded by high-energy blues (and some pop, rock and country music)."
A Blues Brothers 2000 video game was released for the Nintendo 64 on November 17, 2000, two years after the film's release. The plot of the game involves Elwood as the main character going through different chapters and levels while trying to save the kidnapped members of the band one by one. Like the film on which it based and the video game based on the first film, it was poorly received.
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- Ebert, Roger (February 26, 1998). "Blues Brothers 2000 Movie Review (1998)". RoberEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
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