Eighteen years after the first Blues Brothers film—and technically two years before the end of the millennium—Blues Brothers 2000 marks the less-than-triumphant return of everybody's favorite geeky, middle-aged, self-appointed white saviors of black roots music. In replacing the deceased John Belushi, co-producer/co-screenwriter Dan Aykroyd has opted for quantity rather than quality, employing not one, not two, but three new Blues Brothers to fill the tragic funnyman's shoes: jolly, obese John Goodman, lovable tyke J. Evan Bonifant, and token black man Joe Morton, who spends the first two-thirds of Blues Brothers 2000 fuming comically as a ruffled police commander before experiencing a roadside epiphany and joining the band. The first 90 minutes or so are abysmal: The dialogue is bracingly unfunny, the gags are obvious and mostly cribbed from the first film, the pacing is lethargic, and Goodman, Bonifant, and Aykroyd have zero chemistry together. It doesn't help that the filmmakers throw in a pair of superfluous subplots, one involving the Russian Mafia and the other involving a group of white supremacists, both of which do little beyond bogging down an already leaden film. Things pick up a bit toward the end, abetted by a string of relatively energetic musical numbers, but they can only partially redeem a film that's as pointless as it is perfunctory.
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