The Blues Brothers (1980) – Review

3 Stars

Up until Wayne’s World achieved massive success in 1992, The Blues Brothers was the shinning big-screen achievement for SNL sketches to big-screen transitions. This strange concoction is part musical, chase movie, comedy, and satire, but it’s an entertaining cocktail of mixed genres. Director John Landis handles the eccentric elements with professional ease and moves the picture along with amusing interludes and musical breaks.

The film starts with Jake Blues (John Belushi) being picked up from prison by his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd). They go visit the head nun at the orphanage where they were raised. Turns out the Church has cut its support and intend to sell the place, unless a property tax is payed in 11 days. The brothers set-out to regroup their band and raise the money to save the orphanage. Dubbing their adventure as being on a “mission from God.”

I never took to the Blues Brothers as a sketch, but surprisingly the movie works. It’s odd that at 3 minutes the characters feel thin, yet they carry a 133 minute feature film. The Blues Brothers is sprinkled with cameos from outstanding musicians, singers, and dancers. Infused with a wacky spirit and laced with a rollicking soundtrack, The Blues Brothers is an energetic, sometimes manic musical-comedy. Look for Carrie Fisher as a vengeful and violent ex-girlfriend to Belushi’s character.

Director: John Landis
Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Carrie Fisher

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