The Blues Brothers
It's probably safe to say that in the grand scheme of things, for the most part, SNL-based movies don't exactly hit home runs. However, there are still a few great titles among them, and for most people's money, it would probably be a toss-up between 'Wayne's World' and this; a title that I was altogether familiar with, but have only seen all the way through a couple of times. So this is a revisit to see how well things hold up.
Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) picks up his brother Jake from prison, being paroled on good behavior after three years of a five year sentence. A visit to the orphanage where they grew up reveals that the orphanage owes $5,000 in back taxes. In order to help their old orphanage out, the brothers head out on the town to try to get their old band back together and raise the money. So what we have here is the combination "save the rec center"/"get the band back together" story. There's also a musical twist here, which adds to the film's whole theme.
The good news is that when I speak of a musical twist, it's nothing but talent from the time, including names like Cab Calloway, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and more. The film is very musically representative of the time, and it does a good job these days of pulling on those nostalgic strings. The first couple of times, the musical outbreaks can be a bit jarring, but over time, one can get into it.
Aside from the music, however, what really fuels this movie is its sense of humor. The brothers are ever-casual and cool, and the whole time we have an angry Carrie Fisher trying to dispose of them. We never really find out why until the end, and that gives us a great gag. Through the movie, her kill attempts are so over the top, they're downright cartoonish - but that's what makes them so funny.
This one is often considered a downright classic from the 80's era, and it's pretty easy to understand why. There was a certain "all-outness" to the 80's, and this film was no exception. I can almost see this as a fairly typical Disney animated muiscal film, but for adults. Even today, there's still plenty of edge to the exploits of these two characters, most famously perhaps a drive through a shopping mall while outrunning cops.
I forgot to mention that this also serves as a crime movie in that the brothers find themselves on the run from cops as well as "Chicago-Nazis", which adds to the thrill ride of things. The cops start really chasing due to Elwood driving with a suspended license, and the "Nazis", well, they're a smaller part of the whole thing. They're kinda just meant to be an extra thing for them to deal with, knowing that because they represent Nazis, we're all good with the brothers causing them grief.
While it's not all the way up my alley, I can't deny that it harkens back to how fun the 80's were with film. This is one of those "everything" movies that has a little something for everyone, be it humor, good songs, action, or more humor. All in all, it's just a lot of fun, nothing to take seriously, and it's a great flick to watch for those of you born in 2000-something who are somehow into 80's material.
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