Blues Brothers 2000

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Blues Brothers 2000
Blues brothers 2000 poster.jpg
Promotional one-sheet poster.
Directed by John Landis
Produced by
Written by
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • John Landis
Music by Paul Shaffer
Cinematography David Herrington
Edited by Dale Beldin
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)
Running time
123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $28 million[citation needed]
Box office $14 million

Blues Brothers 2000 is a 1998 American musical comedy film that is a sequel to 1980's The Blues Brothers, written and produced by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by Landis, the film stars Aykroyd and John Goodman, with cameos by many musicians.


Eighteen years after the events in the previous film, Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is being released from prison, this time a modern private prison rather than the old Joliet Prison Illinois state penitentiary of his brother Joliet Jake's previous incarceration. He is told for the first time that his brother "Joliet" Jake Blues (John Belushi) has died, as has their surrogate father figure Curtis (Cab Calloway), then finds out that the orphanage the Blues Brothers had saved has been demolished.

Elwood does discover a second brother (of sorts). The illegitimate son of Curtis, his name is Cabel "Cab" Chamberlain (Joe Morton). Cab has no knowledge of Curtis or the Blues brothers or their band up until Elwood comes into his life. Cab is a commander in the Illinois State Police. Elwood asks Cab to loan him $500 for a car, but when Elwood tells him about the band and invites him to join, Cab goes mad and responds by throwing him out. But 10-year-old orphan Buster (J. Evan Bonifant), who's been assigned to Elwood by Mother Mary (formerly chief nun at the St. Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage, where Jake and Elwood grew up, now the hospital it's become), steals the commander's wallet on Elwood's behalf.

Elwood purchases a used police squad car (a 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria) at a lot owned by Malvern Gasperon (B.B. King), who says he is leaving the business to move to New Orleans and try something else. Elwood drives to a strip club owned by the drummer of the Blues Brothers band, Willie Hall, and becomes master of ceremonies on stage. He discovers two things—that the Russian mafia has been demanding payoffs from Willie, and that the helpful bartender, Mack McTeer (John Goodman), can also sing. Elwood strikes a deal with Mack: Mack will help him getting the Russians to leave Willie and his club alone by getting their two errand boys drunk and leaving them in an alley, devoid of their clothes, bound and gagged, (but not their wallets or watches, as later revealed when they are retrieved by their bosses); in return, Mack will sing at the club. The Russians break into the club and burn it down (almost killing Elwood and Mack in the process), leaving Elwood, Mack and Willie unemployed.

In the aftermath of the fire, Elwood reunites the band. "Mighty" Mack is the new lead vocalist, with young Buster joining in on backup vocals and harmonica. The band's former musicians have moved on; guitarist Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and his respect-demanding wife (Aretha Franklin) now run a Mercedes dealership, following the closure of the refectory they ran in the previous film, with saxophonist 'Blue' Lou Marini still tagging along despite his uselessness, whilst keyboardist and pianist Murphy 'Murph' Dunne works in telesales. The other guitarist Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper and bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn work as radio presenters, with trombonist Tom 'Bones' Malone as a technician. But once again the guys are willing to drop everything to go back on the road - that is, except for trumpeter Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin, now working as a funeral director and refusing to join the band, until Elwood makes some very loud and very rude noises during a Russian mob funeral.

The band travels to several familiar locations from the past and discover how they have changed (for example, Bob's Country Bunker was converted into Bob's Country Kitchen, a family restaurant). Booking agent Maury Sline sends them to an outdoor gig in Cynthiana, Kentucky, lying that they are actually the "Bluegrass" Brothers. Law enforcement officers are there waiting, including Cab and his top lieutenant (Nia Peeples), but again the band is able to escape. As well as being on the Russian mobsters' hit list, Elwood also falls foul of a white supremacist militia group led by Mr. Robertson (Darrell Hammond), disrupting their private rally and destroying a boat filled with explosives. They and the police continue to pursue the band, which, thanks to Sline, is now on its way to Louisiana to compete in a battle of the bands. However, the Bluesmobile runs out of gas, and the boys want to quit. Initially defeated, Buster tells Elwood to give a motivational speech. He does, and the band follows him in walking to the competition - except for Blue Lou, who goes to get gas for the car.

At a revival meeting presided over by Rev. Cleophus James (James Brown), an old friend of Elwood, the band is cornered by the zealous and law-abiding Cab and appear to be on their way to jail. But under a spell, Cab suddenly "sees the light" and becomes a Blues Brother, trading in his police uniform for a black suit, a black hat and sunglasses. Everyone heads south to the mansion of a voodoo practitioner named Queen Moussette (Erykah Badu) for the Battle of the Bands. There she transforms the Blues Brothers into zombies for a while, but returns them to life in time to compete against the Louisiana Gator Boys, a gigantic super-group fronted by Malvern Gasperon.

During the band battle, the Russians and the racists turn up, but Queen Moussette deals with them in her own unique way by turning them into rats. Mother Mary Stigmata from the orphanage (Kathleen Freeman) and the Illinois police have arrived as well, making Buster fear that he will be taken away from the band and into child protective custody. Elwood sneaks him out a back door and together they hit the road. What happens after this is never revealed.

Cast and characters[edit]

Bands and musical guests[edit]

Nia Peeples, Kathleen Freeman, Frank Oz, Steve Lawrence, Darrell Hammond, John Lyons, and Jeff Morris appear in cameos. 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. Approximately 60 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 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 band's original keyboardist, Paul Shaffer, had been committed to Gilda Radner's one-woman show on Broadway and 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 aide, 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 keep permanently.

During the Funky Nassau number, Shaffer in his character as "Marco" asks to cut in on keyboards, which Murph allows. This marks the first on-screen time that the Blues Brothers Band plays with the original keyboardist.

Several cast members from the first film reprised their characters, including Frank Oz, Jeff Morris, Steve Lawrence, Kathleen Freeman, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.


The film grossed a little over $14 million in box office sales in North America.[1]

It was screened out of competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.[2]


Blues Brothers 2000 received mixed reviews, averaging a 45% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 44 reviews,[3] and a D score on[4] 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)."[5]

Video game[edit]

A Blues Brothers 2000 video game was released for the Nintendo 64 on November 17, 2000, almost 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.



  1. ^ "Box Office Mojo". Blues Brothers 2000. Retrieved December 16, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Blues Brothers 2000". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ Rotten Tomatoes page: "Blues Brothers 2000."
  4. ^ article: "Blues Brothers 2000 Reviews."
  5. ^ article: "Blues Brothers 2000."

External links[edit]