AFI Fest: Belushi & The Boy Behind the Door Review

Using previously unheard audiotapes recorded shortly after John Belushi’s death, director R.J. Cutler’s documentary examines the too-short life of once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny bones of devoted audiences.

The life of a celebrity that passes away far too early always intrigues me. What goes through their head, and of course, more importantly, why were they so troubled.

John was a troubled man, and he set high expectations for himself, and every time he hit that high, it never seemed like it was enough for him.

Not shocking, the documentary has its highs and lows, and it’s set to a beautiful soundtrack throughout and narrated by Bill Hader. Beautiful stories told about a fantastic talent but yet broken man.

The Verdict:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Belushi is your typical documentary about the fall of a troubled celebrity. 

After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin’s screams for help and realizes he can’t leave his friend behind.

Our film opens up with two little boys that we come to know as Bobby and Kevin are trapped in the trunk of a car. We then flashback 6 hours and the best friends are just talking about life and just being kids.

First, we witness the kidnapping of the two, and from here, we start to see little pieces of what is going on. As Bobby broke free from the trunk, he is in the yard, but he hears Kevin screaming and goes back for him as they promised each other never to leave one another behind.

Next, we have our stereotypical moments built in here. One kid gets away, calls the cops, cops show up, a cop dies, etc. etc. etc. My biggest issue with this so far is the fact nothing new happens here. It was cut and paste with a lot of kidnapping films we have seen a million times before.

Although, I will say that Lonnie Chavis, who played Bobby, was quite enjoyable within the role. He had the most elaborated role in the movie, and he made the most of it and was even more impressive being as young as he is to carry the film.

Finally, when we get to the movie’s conclusion, it ends on par with any other film within this genre, which is a slight disappointment but expected as everything else has been somewhat the same.

The Verdict:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Lonnie Chavis charms as The Boy Behind the Door is just another kidnapping movie.

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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