However, since I just sat down and watched Blues Brothers 2000, I thought I'd offer my opinion via this weblog.
Those people who have seen the first film will think that its character and quality could not be equalled, nor perhaps should be equalled. Most people I know, who have seen Blues Brothers, think it is a fantastic, unique film. How can there be a sequel that is not an embarrassment to watch? It is for this reason that I watched Blues Brothers 2000, which I now own on a double-DVD with the original Blues Brothers, before I re-watched the first film. I have not seen anything of the Blues Brothers in quite a few years, so was able to stop myself making too many comparisons.
However, you cannot help but make comparisons. If I described a film that is full of Blues musicians, has a huge-scale car-crash stunt, has something of the road-movie feel to it, is filled with comedy, and surreal, physics-defying scenes, you would think I was describing the first Blues Brothers movie. Well, the second movie takes the same elements and does them bigger. I'm not saying that it does a better job, since the original film had its impact in the fact that it was the first to do that sort of thing. However, as a Blues Brothers fan, I was not disappointed. Indeed, once you get into the film, it's very entertaining indeed.
I was concerned about the fact that there's a kid in the cast. This didn't seem to match the style of the film and looked like an audience puller, rather than an important way to make more of the film. In fact, the child actor performs well - he's not overused and when he struts his stuff, it's inspiring.
I seem to remember that the first film contained a record 37-car pile up. This new film has an absolutely hilarious 50-car pile up in it. The stunt makers found it a privilege to do, I found it an honour to watch - never before have car crash scenes been so ludicrously funny.
But the real tour de force comes from the sheer number of high-profile musicians who wanted to be in the blues supergroup that performs in the finale of the film (and throughout the film). I'll quote some of the cast - B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddly, Dr John, Isaac Hayes (hey children!), Aretha (again) Franklin, James Brown (why he had virtually nothing to sing amazed me), The Blues Brothers band (a good group in themselves), Steve Winwood... the list goes on.
I still believe that the Blues Brothers would have been quite complete if there had not been a second film, but watching the second film is quite the opposite of the embarrassment I thought it would turn out to be. Just don't watch it back to back with the original!