The blues are back.
"Bonifant steals the show hands down, dancing and acting and taking names. Simon O'Ryan, Box Office Magazine
|Eighteen years after the blues brothers' original mission form god, elwood blues is out of prison and on a whole new mission, to reassemble the band, restore the family ties and set a wayward orphan on the path to redemption. Includes making of featurette featuring interviews with the director, stars and band.|
"That's entertainment! Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
Upon his release from prison, now-brotherless Blues Brother Jake Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) puts the band back together with the help of a golden-voiced strip joint bartender (John Goodman) and a precocious 10-year-old orphan (J. Evan Bonifant) on loan from the comically abusive Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). This hysterical sequel to the original BLUE BROTHERS comedy/musical makes good use of its copious celebrity cameos, which include appearances from old schoolers James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, and Isaac Hayes in addition to bits from blues phenom Jonny Lang, Erykah Badu, and John Popper.
Cast & Crew
The now-brotherless Ellwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is finally out of prison, attempting to reunite the old band and find a few new partners in crime (John Goodman and J. Evan Bonifant). In this sequel to the original BLUE BROTHERS comedy/musical, Ellwood battles the Chicago police, sings and dances his way out of numerous sticky situations, and manages to get the old band on the road for a hair-raising adventure. With the police in hot pursuit, the Blues Brothers set off on a road trip to Kentucky for their first gig at a redneck fair where they have been billed as the Bluegrass Brothers, stopping to perform a thunderous rendition of "Riders on the Storm" and narrowly escaping the clutches of the police and a raving band of neo-Nazis, among other archenemies. With the help of gospel revivals and good disguises, Ellwood and the boys reach their final destination: the Plantation Club of Louisiana's Queen Mousette (Erykah Badu), where they must conquer the queen's powerful voodoo to win the battle of the bands. In this breathtaking finale the stage is packed with musical giants, including B. B. King, Lou Rawls, Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Dr. John, and Screaming Jay Hawkins, among others.
Sight and Sound
"...The music is as brash and energetic as ever..."
"...[A] foot-stomping, hand-clapping, ear-electrifying soundtrack..."
New York Times
"...Big, colorful, high-energy, helium-humored production numbers featuring performers like Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, James Brown, Sam Moore, Erykah Badu, and a host of other big-name singers..."
Los Angeles Times
"...BLUES BROTHERS 2000 is the best noise you're going to hear all year....Goodman and Morton can really sing the blues..."
Box Office Magazine 6 of 10
You'd think that now, in the cynical and harsh late-'90s, that few would have the guts to attempt a sequel, particularly those bright enough to do the original. The result is not as insipid as it could be, but, of course, not nearly as good, as fun or as inspired as the original. The worst part is, after all that's happened, nothing is at stake this time around. Elwood Blues (Aykroyd), upon being released from prison and discovering the news of his brother's death, sets out to put the band back together. John Goodman steps well, but is wasted, into big shoes as the Belushi replacement--a mild-mannered strip-club bartender who turns funky-man blues singer once he meets Elwood. Tagging along is orphan Buster (J. Evan Bonifant), a juvenile delinquent wannabe. Unfettered by the ghosts of the original (since he wasn't even born), Bonifant steals the show hands down, dancing and acting and taking names. Aykroyd does his best here and stays true to the spirit of his character, but he can't go it alone and, despite their enthusiasm, everyone else seems just slightly out of step. The musical numbers are fun only because of the all-star, over-the-top plethora of musical talent involved. Landis is at a loss here. While Aykroyd is clearly still moved by the music, the director is basically going through the motions. The best that can be said for The Blues Brothers 2000 is the music is great, the musical numbers are good and Dan Aykroyd is slim again. Still, you throw in phenomenal legend B.B. King and it just might be enough.
- Simon O'Ryan
New York Times 8 of 10
...Once the new sequel gets past its cumbersome plotting and gets down to its music, it overrides the temptation to suggest buying the soundtrack recording and forgetting the rest. Without the film, directed by the original's John Landis, one would miss the big, colorful, high-energy, helium-humored production numbers featuring performers like Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, James Brown, Sam Moore, Erykah Badu and a host of other big-name singers, instrumentalists and various other stars in cameo roles. The movie... really comes alive when the music plays and people sing and dance. There's an exhilarating gospel number at a roadside revival tent, where [a main character] finally gets the spirit, realizes that music is his true calling and becomes one of the Blues Brothers. There is some other delightful music along the way, but toward the end of Blues Brothers 2000, these numbers finally manage to pile up faster than the pursuing patrol cars. In a grand sequence at the end, at the old bayou mansion, Ms. Badu, as a very vibrant looking 130-year-old voodoo queen, auditions the band, transforms the brothers into zombies for dissing her and then releases them in time for the final musical showdown. That's entertainment.
- Lawrence Van Gelder