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Excellent transfer but showing its age
on 2 February 2013
This was a true cult film but it has not aged well. I don't mean technically - the blu-ray transfer is excellent and the soundtrack is still great - but I just didn't find the film as funny as I once did.
A lot of reviews mention a stellar cast. Wrong. In fact, it is amazing how few members of this ensemble comedy made a career out of this massive hit. John Belushi is the exception that proves the rule (and Blues Brothers is his masterpiece). Otherwise, the only major name involved was Donald Sutherland. His cameo as a hip professor was probably meant to be cool but he comes across as a creep nowadays. He says Milton's "a little bit long-winded, doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible". Look in the mirror, Prof. And of course he has sex with undergrads after sharing his dope.
Oh, Kevin Bacon.
The best performances are from the grown-ups; the college President and the Mayor are perfect evil twins who make us root for Blutho and Delta despite all the madness.
Did I laugh at the chaos? Not so much. It felt too hysterical. The homecoming parade chaos is more weird than funny - e.g. the band in the cul de sac - and the escape from the roadside music club is really forced. How many cars did they need to hit to get back on the road?
Without John Belushi this film would never have achieved cult status. When was the last really funny college comedy? The last successful one I can think of was Legally Blonde which is simply not in this league.
Maybe 3-stars is a little harsh but the time is long past when I would give it 5 stars.