Reviews

Blues Brothers

4

Belushi owns the screen in John Landis' musical classic

Blues Brothers review

If this brushed-up Blu-ray represents anything, it's a tribute not so much to director John Landis but its star, John Belushi.

In Brothers, he’s rotund sleazeball jailbird ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues, on a “Mission from Gahd” to scrape up $5,000 for the Catholic orphanage he grew up in with laconic brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd).

Compared to Animal House’s riot of vomiting, sex and toilet humour, The Blues Brothers takes a getting-the-band-backtogether quest story and turns it into what’s essentially an infinitely funnier, more exuberant, and expensive episode of The Dukes Of Hazzard. One that’s overlaid with stonking big-band soul from a list of legends – James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, to name a few.

That’s before you even factor in one of the best and easily most destructive car chases ever filmed, as Jake and Elwood tear through the streets of Chicago hotly pursued by cops, SWAT teams, firemen, Jake’s murderous ex-fiancée (Carrie Fisher) and a furious country and western band. Somehow, the film manages to contain this OTT finale without falling apart at the seams.

What starts as a slapstick musical farce becomes, if not Landis’ greatest film, then certainly his most enjoyable.

A glittering celebration of brilliantly organised mayhem that’s almost spiritual in its joyousness, it’s a mission God would surely approve of.

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