film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Belushi 2020 * * 1/2 Stars


"No one could ever learn how to do what Belushi does and no one ever will man". That's a quote from 2020's Belushi (my latest review). Even nearly 40 years after his passing, John Belushi is still remembered as a comic legend. Heck, in 2004 he got himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "We're on a mission from God". Indeed.

So yeah, Belushi is a docu about the shortened life of well, John Adam Belushi. Its 108-minute running time reads like a chronological wiki page, a very polished wiki page that kinda omits some stuff. Belushi spans from John's high school days in Wheaton, Illinois to his eventual death from a drug overdose circa 1982. I always thought of John Belushi as a physical comedian, a thin-aired character humorist, and a lovable goof. He appeared in legendary films like Animal House, 1941, and The Blues Brothers.

John's death at age 33 involved drug intoxication by way of a speedball shot. Belushi doesn't delve into the aftermath of John's demise and drops the fact that someone got indicted for murder after giving him said speedball (the late Cathy Smith). The docu just sort of ends truncated. Forgive me but I wanted a little more as opposed to a pseudo patch job.

Belushi's director (R. J. Cutler) uses unique archive footage along with certain fades and wipes. What he doesn't include is the faces of John's buds like Dan Aykroyd and Carrie Fisher being visually interviewed (why?). Belushi also incorporates animation and that just irks me. I mean why do documentaries need cartoons to explain certain parts in people's lives? It's just trite and a put off.

Bottom line: I'm gonna give Belushi a mixed review but it's worth seeing at least once. I viewed it on Showtime and like John's famous line in Animal House, "it don't cost nothing".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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