Blues Brothers 2000

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Blues Brothers 2000
The cast members in black suits and sunglasses
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Landis
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyDavid Herrington
Edited byDale Beldin
Music byPaul Shaffer
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$31 million[2]
Box office$14,051,384[3]

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. Unlike the first film, Blues Brothers 2000 received generally mixed reviews, and was a box-office bomb, grossing around $14 million on a budget of $30 million.

Plot[edit]

Elwood Blues is released from prison after serving eighteen years for the events of the previous film and stands outside waiting for his brother "Joliet" Jake Blues for 24 hours before the warden realizes that nobody has informed Elwood that his brother has died. As the warden informs Elwood of the tragic news, he is picked up by Matara, a dancer who works for the Blues Brothers' former drummer Willie Hall, who now runs a night club. Willie hires Elwood to help him recover.

Before meeting up with Willie, Elwood asks to be dropped off to see his surrogate mother figure, nun Mother Mary "The Penguin" Stigmata, who is now working at a hospital after the St Helen of the Blessed Shroud Orphanage, where Jake and Elwood were raised, closed, despite Jake and Elwood's efforts to save it. She informs him that Curtis, his surrogate father, has also died, but that he had years ago fathered an illegitimate son, Cabel Chamberlain, currently an Illinois State Police commander. She also introduces Elwood to a ten-year-old orphan, Buster, and encourages him to mentor the boy.

Against Stigmata's advice, Elwood tracks down Cabel at his police headquarters, to inform him of his real father, and to ask him to join The Blues Brothers Band, which he plans on reforming. Cabel, upset by the news and offended by the suggestion to join him after learning of Elwood's and Jake's criminal history, throws him out of the building, but Buster steals his wallet, containing enough money for Elwood to purchase a new Bluesmobile at a police surplus lot - like its predecessor, the new Bluesmobile is a 1990 Ford "Crown Vic" police car.

Elwood and Buster begin tracking down members of the former band to recruit them from their current jobs. Willie joins after the Russian mafia burns down his strip club, but not before Elwood enlists the help of Willie's barman, "Mighty" Mack McTeer, to try to convince them to leave the club alone; Mack becomes the band's new lead singer. 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 (currently a funeral director) is forced to join against his will after Elwood again insults the Russian mafia (for whom Mr Fabulous has organized a funeral), 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. En route to the show, Cabel and the Illinois and Indiana state police services follow them, now looking for Elwood for stealing Cabel's wallet earlier, and believing that he has kidnapped Buster. Later on, even the FBI joins the chase. While avoiding a police roadblock that now includes Kentucky State Police units, 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 anyway. Afterwards, they evade capture by the police and an assassination attempt by the Russians. However, en route to the next concert, the Bluesmobile runs out of fuel and the band threatens to quit, with Elwood acknowledging defeat. 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 refuel the Bluesmobile.

The police, now with the Indiana and Illinois state troopers replaced by the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Kentucky State Police, and including Sharkey County deputies along with the Feds, 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, although his fellow police officers believe that the band members have brainwashed him. The Bluesmobile escapes through a construction zone, leaving the massive group of pursuing county, state, and federal patrol cars to end up in a massive pileup.

The band proceeds 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. 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. She accepts the band; however, when the song ends, Elwood, Mack, and Cabel are turned into hollow plastic statues, forcing the band to stay overnight.

At the show, 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, both the Russian mafia and the militia group arrive and interrupt the show, but Mousette turns both groups into rats when they threaten a shootout. The police arrive, but stand down after Cabel informs them that he is all right and with the band by choice. Elwood suggests that the 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 chasing them.

Cast and characters[edit]

Bands and musical guests[edit]

Kathleen Freeman, Frank Oz, Steve Lawrence, and Jeff Morris appeared in cameos,[5] 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.

Production[edit]

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.[6]

Casting[edit]

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.

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

Release[edit]

Blues Brothers 2000 was screened out of competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.[7]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed a little over $14 million in box office sales in North America.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

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".[9] It earned a D score from Entertainment Weekly.[10] 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)."[11]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[12]

Video game[edit]

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, it was poorly received.

Soundtrack[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BLUES BROTHERS 2000 (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. March 12, 1998. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Blues Brothers 2000: Universal Destroyed John Landis' Film".
  3. ^ "Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) - Financial Information".
  4. ^ Blues Brothers 2000 (Motion picture). 1998. Film credits, at time 1:58.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (May 27, 2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857125958.
  6. ^ "Movies with most cars destroyed 2013 - Statistic". Statista. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Blues Brothers 2000". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  8. ^ "Box Office Mojo". Blues Brothers 2000. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
  9. ^ "Blues Brothers 2000 (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Sinclair, Tom (February 20, 1998). "Blues Brothers 2000". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (February 26, 1998). "Blues Brothers 2000 Movie Review (1998)". RoberEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

External links[edit]