As you might have guessed from the title, the story of this film is mostly involved in the days when Blues music and Jazz was king of the music scene. It is really quite difficult to classify a film like this; Is it a comedy? It is an action flick? Is it a musical? Is it a feel good family film?
Well, it is all of these things and more.
The story circles around Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd), Jake has just got out of prison and they go and see the ‘Penguin’, a nun who works at an orphanage where the two brothers were dumped as children. Threatened with the closure of their childhood home, the dynamic duo set out to save it, along the way they’ll encounter angry police officers, Nazis and aggravated country folk. All culminating in a fantastic musical performance in a huge stadium.
All of the music that is played by the brothers and other people is either Rhythm & Blues or Soul and it works like in most Musicals, when everyone knows the words and can sing in perfect time, I like to call it ‘Musical Logic’. Even if you don’t like these styles of music, the on screen action and choreography should keep you entertained.
Then there’s the comedy. This isn’t really a family film because there is a surprising amount of swearing involved. Although there are some very funny moments, and some downright brilliant ones, such as the scene when the brothers are held back by some Nazi supporters on a bridge and they dive right on through, soaking the Nazis from head to toe. There are also some dynamite quotes, such as ‘Are you the Police?’ ‘No mam, we’re Musicians’. Some moments are just funny because of the way that the two brothers react to what is happening, watch the Bazooka scene on youtube and you’ll see what I mean.
There is also some action in this film, although this may confuse people. There aren’t that many gun fights, but there are chase scenes and they are ridiculous. The very first is through a real shopping mall, with real people, no special effects were used and when you think that this was made in 1980, you can imagine how much fun that would have been to make or even be a part of.
It is also a feel good film in some respects because of the way that the brothers seem to escape every single time, there is one touching moment when Jake’s ex-girlfriend (played by Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia)) is about to kill both the brothers and we finally get to see Jake’s eyes. After a quick snog, they run away and get shot at whilst trying to get to Chicago.
“It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
This is one of my favourite films of all time, you need to get this film if you love Comedy, if you love action. Hell, if you like films you need this film. The characters are all great and loveable, the comedy and writing is stellar, the action is amazing and it just is such a good film, and best of all you can probably find it somewhere for hardly any money! You have no excuse to not get this film and constantly quote it for the rest of you life.
By Jamie Walshe.