Critic Reviews



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The Telegraph
The film also has stunning car chases, choreographed like the dancing in a musical, as the Blues Brothers are pursued throughout Chicago, at one point even tearing through a shopping mall, in their 'Bluesmobile', a retired 1974 Mount Prospect, Illinois Dodge Monaco patrol car.
The stunts are still awe-inspiring, and there's plenty of laughs. They really were thinking big.
What's a little startling about this movie is that all of this works. The Blues Brothers cost untold millions of dollars and kept threatening to grow completely out of control. But director John Landis (of “Animal House”) has somehow pulled it together, with a good deal of help from the strongly defined personalities of the title characters. Belushi and Aykroyd come over as hard-boiled city guys, total cynics with a world-view of sublime simplicity, and that all fits perfectly with the movie's other parts. There's even room, in the midst of the carnage and mayhem, for a surprising amount of grace, humor, and whimsy.
Time Out London
That Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi adore this music is not in question – it’s lovingly chosen and brilliantly performed – but the film sometimes feels like a work of cultural tourism, particularly in scenes set in a gospel church and a Chicago street market. These lively musical sequences also sit awkwardly with director John Landis’s bizarre predilection for wholesale destruction: sure, smashing up cop cars can be fun, but Landis takes things to a tiresome extreme.
If Universal had made it 35 years earlier, The Blues Brothers might have been called Abbott & Costello in Soul Town. Level of inspiration is about the same now as then, the humor as basic, the enjoyment as fleeting. But at $30 million, this is a whole new ball-game.
THE BLUES BROTHERS is a monument to waste, noise and misplaced cool, but it does have its engagingly nutty moments.
There are parts of The Blues Brothers that would have played infinitely better with a knock-about feeling, a sloppiness like that of "Animal House." As it is, the movie is airless. The stakes needn't have been so suffocatingly high.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as two white boys who love nuns, blacks, and the blues. But for all of the dramatic focus on poverty, the subject of John Landis's mise-en-scene is money—making it, spending it, blowing it away. The humor is predicated on underplaying in overscaled situations, which is sporadically funny in a Keaton-esque way but soon sputters out through sheer, uninspired repetition.
Landis seems no surer of his visual style than he does of his movie's tone, so he tries everything: shots angled from a dog's-or a god's-eye view, eerily lighted special effects, more dancers, more extras, more noise, more cars and car crashes. Alas, more is less, and The Blues Brothers ends up totaling itself.
Ironically, the stars didn't get it together either. The Blues Brothers offers the melancholy spectacle of them sinking deeper and deeper into a comic grave.

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