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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Blues Brothers (1980) - Mission from God, Music for the Soul

Updated: Apr 9

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(5/5 stars)

Released 06-20-1980

Watched 02-03-2024

Reviewed 02-06-2024

Watched on Netflix

"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses."

"The Blues Brothers" is an absolute masterpiece that effortlessly blends comedy, music, and action into a cinematic experience like no other. From the moment Jake and Elwood Blues, portrayed by the incomparable John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, embark on their "mission from God" to save the orphanage they grew up in, the audience is taken on a wild and exhilarating ride. The film's plot is a perfect backdrop for the series of musical numbers featuring some of the greatest legends in soul, blues, and R&B, including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Ray Charles, whose performances are nothing short of electrifying.

The chemistry between Belushi and Aykroyd is astounding, bringing depth and authenticity to their roles and making Jake and Elwood Blues iconic characters in film history. They breathe life into the characters in a way that transcends mere performance. This connection adds a layer of depth and realism to the Blues Brothers, elevating them from simple comedic figures to enduring icons of cinema. The way Belushi and Aykroyd feed off each other's energy is a masterclass in comedic partnership, their deadpan delivery and impeccable timing crafting moments of laughter that feel both effortless and perfectly orchestrated.

As Jake and Elwood navigate their "mission from God," the duo's interactions are peppered with sharp wit and a unique brand of humor that has become synonymous with the Blues Brothers. Their ability to maintain a straight face amidst the absurdity of their situations amplifies the comedy, making the jokes land with even greater impact. This, coupled with their musical performances, showcases not just their versatility as actors but also their genuine talent as entertainers.

The film's action sequences are as memorable as its protagonists, with high-speed car chases through the streets of Chicago and even a mall that is both exhilarating and comically overblown. These set pieces, characterized by their sheer scale and the destruction left in their wake, contribute to the film's unique blend of comedy and action. The outrageousness of these scenes, from the pile-up of police cars to the improbable escapes, keeps the audience engaged and entertained, providing a thrilling counterbalance to the film's comedic elements.

In essence, the magic of the Blues Brothers lies not just in its humor or its action but in the synergy between Belushi and Aykroyd. Their portrayal of Jake and Elwood is a testament to their talents, creating a film experience that is as heart-pounding as it is hilarious. The legacy of these characters and the film as a whole owes much to the undeniable chemistry and the combined comedic prowess of these two actors.

What also sets "The Blues Brothers" apart is its ability to pay homage to the music genre it represents, bringing it to the forefront in a respectful and genuinely entertaining way. The soundtrack is a brilliant compilation that not only serves the narrative but stands strong on its own as a collection of timeless classics.

In conclusion, "The Blues Brothers" is more than just a movie; it's a cultural phenomenon that celebrates music, comedy, and the unbreakable bond of brotherhood. It's a film that resonates with audiences across generations, making it a must-watch for anyone who appreciates the power of cinema to entertain, uplift, and inspire. A full five stars are well-deserved for this iconic piece of cinematic history.


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