Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

(In theaters, February 1998) I began 1998 with the firm resolution to go only to worthwhile movies. It’s a downer to find that my first movie of the year is so very ordinary. The Blues Brothers still stand in my mind as one of the best musical comedies ever, but this sequel doesn’t even approaches the 1980 original in terms of coolness, musical energy, plotting, general fun or even coherence. Despite having seen the man in person, I’ve been less and less of a fan of Dan Aykroyd ever since his shameless propaganda for paranormal phenomenon, and he sinks even lower after the markedly mercenary intent of this film. (It’s probably no coincidence that it features an explicit Revelation From God and a witch temporarily turning the heroes into zombies.) The musical numbers are so lousily integrated in the movie that we almost expect the little MTV logo to appear in the corner at the beginning and end of each song. Finally, if everything else wasn’t depressing enough, the movie isn’t even very funny, and has no real conclusion to speak of. On the other hand, Joe Morton, John Goodman and the few female roles are somewhat enjoyable. There are also a lot of blues in-jokes you won’t understand.

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