Wired (1989) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
31 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Absolutely tasteless...
gypsybells3 July 2000
After seeing the DVD release of the Blues Brothers, and their mention of "Wired" on Belushi's bio, my boyfriend and I were hungry for more information on John Belushi. I had heard of "Wired" but didn't know too much about it and found it way in the back of the local rental store. I understand that Dan Akroyd was really p***ed over this movie and I thought it was because it didn't portray them in a good light. But that had nothing to do with it.

The movie starts out okay, until they wheel in John's body to the morgue. When he wakes up on the autopsy table, and decides to run for it, then begins the utter tastelessness of this movie. John is subjected to viewing his life and all of the turmoil he created with "Angel," a Puerto Rican cab driver with a wicked sense of humor -- subjecting him to criticism and attempting to try to get him to cross over.

The two actors who portray John and Dan look nothing even remotely close to the real actors, (let alone anyone else related for that matter, i.e., Lorne Michaels,) making it difficult to really try to concentrate on them and how they were in real life... but that is the tip of the iceberg.

I believe this was supposed to be an "artsy" film -- John constantly being tormented by drugs (i.e., the powdered soap in the bathroom being cocaine,) in such a way that was also difficult to follow. The flashbacks are choppy, also making it difficult to understand.

Probably the most tasteless scene was when John is (literally,) forced to undergo his autopsy and is in pain while they remove his heart to weigh it, saying that it was abnormally large due to drug use, obesity, yeah, we get the point without the grotesque portrayal.

There are very few other actors we know of in the movie, (where's Carrie Fisher for instance? They were incredibly close. And Jim Belushi would have been a great person to show,) it looks VERY cheaply made, (we felt it looked as if the graphics were from the early 80s or late 70s,) it felt as if it was filmed in about a week and all in all, didn't show the side to John at all. I felt I knew a little bit more about him from watching episodes of Saturday Night Live.

On one last note, Bob Woodward comes across narcissistic by placing himself in the movie, arguing with John about writing his life story. For someone who was supposed to be very highbrow, concerning the bust on Nixon, his calibur of person could match any writer in the National Enquirer, and therefore losing my interest in any of his work from this point forward.

SKIP THIS MOVIE. If you want to see more on John, watch his movies, see clips of Dan Akroyd talking about him or hope someone has the taste to make another movie on John that goes along the lines of "Man on the Moon," which is ultimately what we were expecting. I guess this was a "moral" kind of movie -- you know, don't do drugs, but I guess the creators of this film didn't understand that his death made a number of people (like Carrie Fisher,) stop doing drugs altogether for that reason.
19 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
There's a short, somewhere...
Howlin Wolf10 January 2011
It's like a deeply unsettling version of Scrooged, based upon the life of a real person. I can understand why his friends and family were outraged, however, to an interested bystander it emerges as an oddly fascinating - albeit imperfect - movie.

It's character assassination, which doesn't in itself mean this is a bad movie, just a distasteful one. I thought it was a really good film. Perhaps one that should never have been made, but maybe that's why it's so powerful.

Every film has an agenda, so this one is no different... but just because it stays fixated on one angle doesn't mean that there's no insight at all to be gained from it.
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The movies tries, but.......
hotchachacha11 November 2000
It just doesn't succeed. I didn't hate the movie like some did, I simply felt it should have concentrated more on Belushi's life then the whole afterlife fantasy nonsense. It had good moments here and there, especially the scene where Belushi and his wife are on the beach and he tells her he loves her, and the scenes involving Cathy Smith(played riveting by Patti D'arbanville)who was the women who gave drugs to Belushi the night he died. As far as Michael Chiklis performance goes he does try valiantly but comes short with portraying the comic energy that made John Belushi such a special comedian. Lucinda Jenny however is good as Belushi's wife. I'm surprised no one ever metioned her performance. She is one one the film's few virtues. Overall, though it comes up short in showing the true Belushi and really you what the filmmakers were thinking.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
a wild man
dtucker862 October 2002
Someone once said that John Belushi was a combination of Lou Costello and Vlad the Impaler! He wanted to grab the whole world and snort it. This was Michael Chiklis's first big part (he's now the rogue cop on The Shield). He does a convincing job bringing Belushi to life in all his madness. They do a good recreation of him and Dan Aykroyd doing their Blues Brothers routine. Did Belushi have a sub-conscious death wish? It would seem he did. Like the phantom cabbie tells him "Life is not for everyone". The whole "angel" thing is original but it does make the movie confusing and hard to follow. Belushi wanted it all but it was too much. Like Elvis, Belushi was a case of too much and too fast.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Possibly the worst film I have ever seen...
jaylee3321 April 2003
and I have seen a lot of films. I saw this in the theatre in 1989 and to this day I remember the sickening urge to walk out. If you like John Belushi, respect his talent, or even the sanctity of the cinema-- this film has nothing to offer you. It is mostly a pathetic showcase for the writer of Belushi's biography, Bob Woodward. As we see the progression of Belushi's life pass on the screen, Woodward actually shows up in the film like a ghost character. The most offensive scene occurs when Belushi is dying, looks up from his deathbed to see the author standing above him and he weakly utters "Breathe for me, Woodward." There are too many terrible things to mention them all, the least of which is the opening that has Belushi jumping out of his body bag in the morgue and getting into a taxi driven by a guy named "Angel." I'll leave it at that.
11 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A bad movie made out of a small paragraphed obituary
apkacdh2 April 2001
Before I watched this movie, this is what I knew of John Belushi:

He was a comic who got a gig on Saturday Night Live, was great friends with Dan Ayckroyd (who was on the show with him), they did "The Blues Brothers" on the show and in a movie (and he did other movies as well), he was married and he died from dope. Oh, and Bob Woodward wrote a bio on him.

That's exactly ALL this movie tells.


So, save yourself a few bucks at the video shop and RENT SOMETHING ELSE!!
12 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
indescribably bad
budbe13 March 2002
Here is a movie that is utterly without redeeming qualities.

I was a Belushi fan, but I never shared the opinion that Woodward's book was a hatchet job...on the contrary, I though it was a pretty good piece of journalism.

This movie, however, is not at all faithful to the book. There is a bunch of "ghost of Christmas past" kind of stuff with the ghost of Belushi riding through his past with a Latino cab driver who identifies himself as Belushi's 'guardian angel'...where did this come from?

It's certainly not in the book.

Everyone involved seems embarrassed to be part of this mess, and so they should!

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give "Wired" a MINUS 20...utter and complete garbage...the final insult to a great performer.
14 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Shame on you for not saying a biopic could be a guilty pleasure
Al-1642 July 1999
Because that's exactly what this is. Don't get me wrong, it's an awful movie and an insult to a comedic god. But I laughed harder at myself for paying attention to this movie than at anything in, say, "Night at the Roxbury" or "Manipulatively awful DR.Death -or- Patch Adams". Michael Chicklis(pretty good in "the commish")is absolutly terrible as Belushi, but he tries, JT Walsh a truly great actor is painfully bad as Bob Woodward(stick w/ Redford & that character), and then there's Sharkey as Angel the Puerto Rican cab driving guardian angel(nuff said there). The movie and skit recreations are slow and unfunny, but in the end we feel a little bit of sadness for our fallen clown.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Rodrigo_Amaro22 January 2013
It's so bad that even the Razzie's couldn't award this as being the worst movie of that year. It's too painful that John Belushi fans or even fans from the people involved with this garbage have to go through hell torturing themselves just to see how low this can get. But as common knowledge (and Coldplay!) says: if you never try you'll never know. Well, I went for it and hated it. Really hated it. Now I know! It was depressive, sad, messy, sickening to watch this, one of the most unglorifying portrayals ever presented of an artist. Fine, we know Belushi wasn't so much of a good person and who is anyway but to point fingers for most of the film saying "You were nothing but a drug addict who lived most of your days as if they were endless Saturday nights, party all the time and few responsibilities" is a low act. He was there for us in several classics such as "The Blues Brothers", "Animal House" and a few others, and also as being a great comedian with his famous appearances in SNL; and to reduce the man as being a loud cokehead is shameless and atrocious.

Not just the portrayal that bothers, the way this was written and presented is terrible as well. I refuse to say the writer of this wrote a screenplay, he made something else but not a screenplay. He took Bob Woodward's biographical work, used very little of facts and invented countless devices in order to make this appealing or as the next "Citizen Kane" due to its several flashbacks and the point of view of a journalist - represented by Woodward as a character (played by J.T. Walsh) investigating the final moments of the actor, interviewing people who knew him. It gets truly ridiculous when Woodward is taken to the very fatidic day of Belushi's death. But until that moment comes, we were already introduced to a taxi driver who is an angel of death who not only takes Belushi (played by Michael Chiklis, way before of The Shield fame) to the afterlife passing back through moments of his life and work but also he has the "power" of delivering the man to hell (a possible homage to "The Seventh Seal" but instead of a chess game it's a pinball game who'll might save John's life). Where does one came up with those ideas? The only praise I give to this involves the presentation of a film director based on John Landis. Since they couldn't use his name due to a possible lawsuit, they picked an actor who resembled him (but not that much) possibly filming "The Blues Brothers" and there's a hint of whom he might be because of a background noise of helicopters flying around (referencing the future tragedy of "The Twilight Zone: The Movie" happened in Landis segment).

There's nothing special about "Wired". Nothing. There's just too many things in it, and none of them are serviceable enough to make us interested enough. Biographical pieces tend to present good and bad moments of a person analyzed; "Wired" doesn't do that, just focus on the negative and destructive side of Belushi. And when the movie seems to be presenting his trajectory whether performing his Blues Brothers gigs or shooting a movie or the SNL skits, they're never energic, funny, careful. Worst of all: it doesn't look happy and one can say that most of those memorable moments were some of his happiest, joyful and important things in his life. Drama is cheesy and ridiculous, the comedy numbers don't provide laughs of any kind; the musical performances work sometimes. Everything goes without enthusiasm.

What's left to be said about "Wired"? The acting. Chiklis almost impressed me from time to time in playing Belushi (the first scene was one of those parts) but in the end it's just another case of an actor impersonating another actor, it goes on and off and it's disappointing. But one cannot deny some talent from his part, he can hold a movie along as the lead. I really felt bad watching one of my favorite character actors involved in this and worst he's not doing well his part. The Woodward played by Walsh doesn't sound or behave like a reporter, he seems quite naive about Hollywood and famous, making dumb questions that even viewers know the answers, he isn't intrusive as he could be and like most reporters are. The rest of the cast (Alex Rocco, Dakin Mathews, Patti D'Arbanville, Tom Bower and others) all seem to be embarrassed in their supportive roles. Best thing of the show is the guy who plays the angel, although he's a bit annoying, you can find some humor in him.

All the curiosity in the world doesn't worth wasting one hour in this, clearly one of the worst biopics ever made. 1/10
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very artsy biography of the Late Great John Belushi
bluesbro7228 August 2002
I am a huge Belushi fan and yes I would have liked to seen a more straight forward bio-pic. However, Belushi was not a straight forward guy he was a wild-man and this movie suits his comedic style. You never knew what you were going to get from John and this movie does a good job of capturing that late 70's early 80's craziness. Michael Chilklis is wonderful as Belushi, sometimes I even forgot that someone was playing John, he captured his Walk, Talk, Craziness, and Sincerety very well. The movie like John's life makes a huge anti-drug message. If anything John's life did change the way Hollywood dealt with addiction and aside from his comedic genius this is something I believe he will be remembered for.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tales from the Morgue
sol121813 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
(Some Spoilers)Very confusing movie about the last days of actor comedian John Belushi, Michael Chiklis, who after shooting himself up with the help of his personal drug suppler Cathy Smith, played by Patti D'Arbannille, with a combination cocaine heroin concoction-speed-ball-went into cardiac arrest and expired.

It's then alone in the L.A County morgue that Belushi suddenly comes to life and ends up riding in a taxi cab with Angel Velasquez, Ray Sharkey, whom we find out is also like Belushi really dead, for some eight years, of a drug overdose. The rest of the movie has Belushi with both Angel's and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's, T.J Walsh, help review his short life, Belushi was 33 at the time of his death, and how he so royally screwed it up.

The film "Wired" is so confusing in it going back and forth in time that you have trouble following it not knowing if the John Belushi on the screen is either the live or the dead one. We do have John doing a number of his memorable acts on TV and in the movies but their more or less padding giving the film, thats seems far to long, its 112 minutes of running time.

The film really gets interested when it focus on Belushi's drug addiction that lead to his untimely death on the morning of March 5, 1982. Losing control of both his career and wife Judy, Lucinda Jenney, due to the pressures of being on top as a Hollywood super star John's reliance on drugs, mostly cocaine, took precedent over everything else in his life. Too strung out to work and feeling that he's soon to become poison, after a string of flops, in the box office Belushi just about gave up on himself. Belushi spent all his time when he was supposed to be writing a script for his latest film in his plush L.A hotel room getting himself high on the drugs that ended up killing him.

Depressing movie that shows what drugs, legal as well as illegal, can do to you and those you love by letting them take control of your life. John Belushi's life as well as death is all too common in Hollywood with drugs like cocaine being readily available to big time actors and actresses like himself. Belushi's serious drug addiction wasn't a secret to those who knew him which makes his death even that much more tragic. Instead of trying to get him help, in drug rehabilitation, Belushi's desperate plight was put aside-by his employers- as long he brought the big bucks into the studios. It's when his career started to wane that Belushi's drug dependency started to intensify and get out of control.

John Belushi wasn't alone in having himself end up on a cold slab in the L.A County morgue! He had a lot of help from those who encouraged and supply him with illegal drugs over the years. But in the end it was John and only John, by giving into his drug addiction and refusing to get help, who was more responsible then anyone else in having himself end up there.

P.S It's Bob Woodward's biographical book on John Belushi's wild and stormy life as well as his tragic but not at all unexpected death that the movie "Wired" is based on.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A real pile of trash
darthgeorge197324 November 2004
This is one the worst pieces of garbage I have ever seen. Tasteless,vile and total piece of crap best describe this useless waste of time and effort.

The plot revolves around the lifestory of the late John Belushi. Belushi's corpse rises out a bodybag,eats a cheeseburger and is met by his guardian angel,together they walk through key events in his life.

The film goes downhill from there.

Belushi is portrayed as bullying slob of a junkie,the film is poorly cast and directed and the storyline is horrible.

Don't even waste your time renting it.
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Impossible, half-cocked fantasy from the morgue...
moonspinner5518 February 2008
Journalist Bob Woodward's blistering, scattershot and sometimes suspect account of actor John Belushi's rise and fall becomes a wholly misjudged movie, a nebulous "fantasy" directed by Larry Peerce as if he were doing something edgy and vital. Michael Chiklis (years before his breakthrough on "The Shield") is put in the unenviable position of portraying Belushi, taking a post-mortem trip through his life, recreating those "Saturday Night Live" skits which are now part of TV history. It's like watching someone try to out-Lucy Lucille Ball--it can't be done. The reason why there was such sorrow at Belushi's death was because he was one of a kind. Chiklis makes a commendable attempt at looking the part, and he's funny in an early scene trying to escape from the morgue. Still, it's an uphill venture and no actor--no matter how talented--could have saved it. * from ****
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
You have to be stoned to like Wired
rook0111 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Any film school student could made a film 1,000 times better than piece of garbage. As someone who had read the book, I expected even a straight re-telling of the book would make this a fair film. There was a chance that a talented director could go beyond Woodward's narrative and make a great film.

Well the director did go beyond Woodward's narrative. He added a hip Hispanic angel named Velasquez that was not in the book. He had Bob Woodward interview the dead Belushi in an exchange in the morgue. The film had all the insight of someone stoned on PCP staring at his navel.

If this is a spoiler to you, you will thank me for it because it is absolutely the worst movie ever made.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This Movie Sucks!
omar-236 May 2000
If you're a John Belushi fan, just rent Animal House or Continental Divide. This movie is poorly acted, it has nothing to do with John Belushi's life, and they got the guy who played the Commish to play Belushi? It didn't mention a damn good thing about Belushi's life. It probably exagerated a lot of aspects of his drug use, and who does Bob Woodward think he is to make a movie like this. Not only does it make Belushi look bad, but it just sucks. The budget was low, the script was probably slapped together in a week, and that's about all the slamming of this movie I have to do for right now. I give it an F+.
8 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It could've been a good movie about Belushi, but nnnoooooooooooo!
imddaveh22 June 2001
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** It's truly a shame that Michale Chiklis' dead-on characterization of John Belushi was wasted on this film. Director Larry Peerce, in a weak effort to create high-concept, avant-garde art has instead created a disjointed mess that trashes Belushi and bewilders the audience. Based very loosely on Bob Woodward's book, "Wired" is a sort of cross between "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Naked Lunch". John Belushi dies and is whisked off to the morgue, where a cynical, jaded attendant wheels his corpse to the autopsy room and admonishes Belushi's body for being stupid. Then, complete with hokey lightning, Belushi unzips the body bag, sits up and ambles out of the morgue to a waiting cab. The cab is driven by "Angel", a fellow druggie who ODed in Central Park. Angel then proceeds to drive Belushi through his life in a series of unconnected vinnettes, confusingly and distractingly presented in no order whatsoever.

As if the film hadn't engaged in enough lame cliche, it gets worse. While Belushi is taking a ride through his life, Bob Woodward is contacted by Belushi's widow who asks him to investigate his death. Woodward flies to Los Angeles to trace Belushi's last days. In the only interesting technique employed by the film, Woodward finds himself witnessing events in Belushi's life firsthand. Unfortunately, this effect is destroyed when the characters in the flashbacks start to interact with Woodward. Cathy Smith, as Woodward watches, looks up as she is administering the fatal injection of heroin to Belushi and says, "Wanna shot, Woodie?". Lame. Then, as Woodward is alone in Belushi's room, watching him die...the two get into a conversation which ends with Woodward telling Belushi, "I would help you John, but you did this to yourself". In another scene, Belushi is awake for his own autopsy. The film is ruined by several such lame attempts to be shocking, disturbing, or artsy, and only succeeds in being crude and offensive.

John Belushi's death rocked Hollywood and changed attitudes about drugs. Drug humor was no longer funny after his death. "Wired" thankfully does nothing to try to reverse this or glamourize drugs. Unfortunately, what could have been a entertaining-if-tragic tribute to Belushi's talents is instead a muddled mess with no sympathetic characters, no warmth, no message, no point, and Chiklis' brilliant performance wasted on a film of virtually no value.

Rest in peace, John.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
What a bad joke! This 1989 biographical film of comedian and actor John Belushi is too blue. It's depressing awful!
ironhorse_iv20 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Blues Brother, Musician, Confidant, and Comedic Legend, John Belushi deserves better than this tasteless movie, loosely based on the 1984 non-fiction book of the same name by American journalist, Bob Woodward. While, many friends and relatives of Belushi, including his widow Judith Belushi Pisano, Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi, agreed to be interviewed at length for the book, they later felt the final product was exploitative and not representative of the John Belushi they knew. The movie version written by screenwriter, Earl Mac Rauch only made things, worst, by taking took much liberties from the book, and turned it into a non-linear fantasy drama about torturing, berating, and ripping apart Belushi's corpse, played by Michael Chiklis like it was sushi, while showing gloom & doom flashbacks. However, the film doesn't end it there, oh no, while the soul of John is playing a fantasy game for his life with Judith (Lucinda Jenney) on a Blue's Brothers ping-ball machine with his enigmatic, guardian angel, Angel Velasquez (Ray Sharkey). The actor that plays, Bob Woodward (J. T Walsh) goes to the place that John died, Château Marmont, and has a surrealist conversation with the ghost on his death bed, belittled him. This was all, done with real-life Bob Woodward permission and none, from the friends & family of the comedian whom chose to instead, boycott the movie. Honestly, I don't blame them. Other offensive fantasy scenes like the autopsy and the airplane moment, made this movie hard to watch. It no way, matches the original request from John Belushi's family or his manager, Bernie Brillstein. They wanted a fun, but factual book about the actor to counter the speculation and rumors that had arisen after his death. Instead, the book and film spent more time, kicking the man while he's down, without a shred of dignity than praising anything about him, when he was alive. They don't show, much of anything about the guy. No scenes of Belushi upbringings, how he got into comedy, how he met his wife & friends, and most of all, his time in SNL. It only focus on the negative things about him. Hints, why the characters and events of Wired are a mixture of real-life people and obvious facsimiles. Nearly nobody wanted to their depiction or name in the film at all. They all threatened to sue the film for invasion of privacy, if they did. Even, if they could get the film rights to use all of the characters and locations that Belushi belong to, in his life. I still think this movie still would be as offensive as it was. Honestly, I really don't get, what the film's message, was besides being over sensationalized exploitation with a vast ocean of awkward humorless slapstick, and postmodern mindfuckery. I can only guess, that the film directed by Larry Peerce was going for a Frank Capra aura like 'It's a Wonderful Life', or worse, Charles Dickens reworking of 'A Christmas Carol', but they fail badly with the confusing time sequence and mystical scenes. It doesn't help, that this movie also has supporting characters appearing & disappearing, unannounced. It also jarring to see, actors like Ray Sharkey, lecturing to a dead Belushi about the dangers of drugs abuse. Does nobody else, see the weird irony of that!? Yes, I get that John Belushi was a drug addict and made a lot of bad decisions, however, that doesn't give the right for writers to over scrutiny his life like this. He was a human being with good things, about him. Just because, he did drugs, doesn't make him, the worst person in the world. It felt like a mean-spirited one-sided after school special. A miserable PSA. No wonder, why this movie had a hard time, finding a distributor for it. Nobody wanted a movie that exposed the dark side of Hollywood in the late 1980s. The only good thing to come out of this movie was Michael Chiklis. Unlike the other critics, I found his performance to be great. He really gave the role, everything, he has. You see it, with the singing and dancing scenes, the intense drug abuse moments, and the made up SNL skits. He does a bang up job of capturing John's mannerisms and deportment in any of the scenes that he's is. It's sad that he got blacklist in Hollywood for the longest time, after making this movie. It wasn't until, television shows 'The Commish' (1991-1996) & 'The Shield' (2002-2008) kinda save this career. He was a good actor. I can't say, the same with his co-stars. Gary Groomes looks and acts, nothing like Dan Aykroyd & Lucinda Jenney whom, I nearly forgot, was in this movie. For the movie about a comedian that supposed to be funny. It felt a little too dark & serious. In the end, the story of one man's excesses was just a miserable watch. I really can't recommended, watching this awful blue screen of death.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unrealized Potential...
cwok7 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I recently watched, ' Wired ', for the first time in its entirety. This film has received some harsh criticism over the years, but I decided to see for myself.

The movie begins with JB as a fresh corpse in the LA morgue, and his now disembodied soul, escaping, and roaming the earth, transported by his afterlife taxi-driver-spirit-guide, ' Angel ' (played by Ray Sharkey, in one of his last major film roles, and whose own drug use ultimately led to death himself). The two experience past & present events as observers, ala, " A Christmas Carol ", trying to make sense of the situation.

While simultaneously, Journalist Bob Woodward, on whose book the film is based, is brought in to investigate the circumstances surrounding JB's demise, with hints of the future dramatic forensics of, ' CSI '.

The story cuts back & forth, with shades of the flashback sequences in Milos Forman's, ' Amadeus ', another film about a self-destructive celebrity, and that also showcases performances of the subject, climaxing in a, ' face to face conversation ', between Belushi & Woodward, which is apparently a metaphor for the reporter's attempt to posthumously get inside the comic's head, in order to better understand him.

I get why, ' Wired ', was largely panned, but I think I also get what the filmmakers were actually TRYING for here: Juxtaposing the surrealistic fantasy of Belushi's ghost journey through time & space, vs the reasoned objectivity of Woodward's factual reporting.

And this premise MIGHT have worked, IF the creators had focused more clearly on what exactly they were trying to get across to the audience.

Yet as it is, all we are left with is a series of episodes from Belushi's life, with only the bare bones of continuity; an example of why interesting ideas still need effective execution all the way through.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The film Hollywood didn't want you to see! ...For good reason.
ThomasBleedPHD5 August 2015
Imagine for a moment, you are Judy Belushi, a grieving widow with a funny name. Your husband is John Belushi, one of the most talented and beloved actors of the 1970s. He died tragically in a drug overdose in a seedy motel, a speedball of heroin and cocaine in his system. Leaving your grief-stricken and alone.

All of the sudden, you meet Bob Woodward, the world-famous reporter who broke the Watergate scandal. He tells you that he wants to write a biography about your husband, showing his grand life and his tragic downfall. You of course agree, reasoning that the world deserves to know your husband's whole story. The good and the bad.

But when the book comes out, something goes terribly wrong. There's a whole lot of the bad, but virtually none of the good. The happier moments in your husband's life are either glossed over or woven into moments of piggish selfishness, and the bad moments are focused on with a heavy-duty microscope, exaggerated tenfold or outright fabricated.

Now you know the story of "Wired." A bizarre and confusing chapter in the book of Woodward, the only book he ever wrote that wasn't about politics. And that would be an unfortunate and tasteless enough end to this story were it not for this movie's production.

A mere year after publishing his hatchet job, Woodward was trying to auction off the film rights to his book, but no one wanted anything to do with it. Woodward eventually secured a low-budget studio's cooperation and production on this cinematic abortion began.

Even the gullible fans of Bob Woodward's Wired don't enjoy this film. What could have been a straight-forward Bio-Pic about the troubled life and times of a famous actor turns into a bizarre Three Stooges-style farce. Apparently the filmmakers decided that what a hard-hitting biopic about the raise and fall of a real person needed was comedic fantasy sequences of John Belushi's ghost traveling around with a wise-cracking Hispanic taxi driving guardian angel literally named "Angel."

The movie is a confused mess of bad ideas, poor execution and bad storytelling as the narrative goes back-and-forth between hammed up, exaggerated dramatizations of situations that vaguely resemble things that really happened, low-budget reenactments of legally safe bootleg versions of SNL sketches, and the insufferable "It's a Wonderful Life" subplot. The "Angel" character is one of the most unlikable characters in the whole film, spending his time either being Scrappy Doo levels of annoying and cracking bad jokes, or going on morally righteous tangents about how John Belushi ruined his life with drugs and is a piece of crap who deserves to die. He really is the heart and soul of this movie. The black, withered, shrunken heart and soul.

Woodward claimed Hollywood didn't want this movie made because it contained "too much truth." An assertion that becomes absurd once you actually watch the film. Even ignoring all of the ridiculous fictional elements, the "Real life" elements are just as out-of- touch with reality. People who were enablers and willing participants in Belushi's drug use become dotting parents who lecture him on the dangers of drugs, incidents that were totally innocuous are rewritten as bombastic pivotal disasters, and major moments in Belushi's life are either glossed over in seconds or totally ignored.

But by far the most insane and bizarre thing about this movie, even more bizarre than the inclusion of Angel the magic cab-driver and Ghost Belushi, is the inclusion of Bob Woodward himself as a character. Woodward, who served as a consultant on the film, is inexplicably featured in the story as a heroic protagonist unraveling the mystery of Belushi's untimely death. Watching this film would give you the impression Woodward was a brave hero everyone loved and Belushi was a mean junkie who everyone hated.

But getting angry at this film is pretty pointless, since it was a massive commercial and critical bomb. It's highly anticipated premier at Cannes ended in boos and a disastrous press conference and it's controversy and dubious quality ensured it never got a full home video release.

So is there anything redeemable about this film? Well, Michael Chiklis is great as Belushi. He looks like him, sounds like him and captures his attitude and behavior perfectly. Too bad this movie nearly ruined his career. At least him and Jim Belushi tearfully reconciled years later. Can Chiklis really be blamed for taking this part? This was his first real movie ever.

The story of Wired is far more interesting than Wired's story.This film is an interesting piece of film making history and an intriguing chapter in the life and times of Bob Woodward. But as an actual film? It's a real stinker. Don't even bother with it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
As a fan... this hurts
keving424128 July 2014
When I was 8 years old I remember watching a Saturday Night sketch with John in it. It was so funny I literally crapped myself, it was so funny I waited till the sketch was over before running to the bathroom. Immature way to say I thought he was funny but hey, that's a true story. And Blues Brothers is without a doubt my favorite movie, to say I like John Belushi would be as much as an understatement as saying the guy in Stan liked Eminem's music.

When I started writing reviews I incorporated comedy into my articles, not funny trendy internet meme's I mean stupid crap that I found funny. It gave it a personality, and that's why I had more readers than I could ever imagine (I imagined maybe 6). John was by far my favorite comedian, can someone who may have not lead the most perfect life be a bad inspiration? No, not at all. While he didn't make good decisions he was always nice to fans and cared about his work. Doesn't make him a saint but... he was still my inspiration and a good one. Blues Brothers was actually the first movie review I ever did, I didn't actually review it I just praised it. Although breaking down every little piece of comedy, breaking down every little scene and line actually revealed interesting details I never knew before. There's so many hidden laughs to have at this movie and breaking it down only made me love it even more.

So why the hell did I watch this? Well excuse me for thinking Hollywood would make a touching biography about one the greatest comedians of all time. You'd think a little, tiny sliver of respect would be in here somewhere. Somebody during the filming would say "Hey I liked John shouldn't we make him... oh I don't know, NOT look like a total druggy loser with no redeemable qualities?!" For ****s sake the man was in Blues Brothers... one of the most well know (and funniest) people on SNL.

This film makes me sick to my stomach. The imagery of John screaming for help laying on an autopsy table... literally hurts me to watch. It doesn't help Michael played this role so good... too good (he's a good actor). I feel guilty for being apart of the crowd that hated Michael Chiklis but as I grew up I learned who to really point my finger to. Actually going back to this movie after all these years I realized Michael Chiklis is the best part of this movie. Not many people could... no one could fill his shoes but if there was someone who had to do his sketches Michael Chiklis would be the next best thing.

Anyways, as with most people's lives which end in such tragedy it's important to take lessons learned and remember them so we don't make the same mistakes. But don't make their entire life based around those damn mistakes, he should be remembered as one of the greatest comedians of all time and a good person to his fans. Penny pinching bastards that made this piece of **** deserve to have their dead bodies paraded around on a film then shown to their family members as punishment. Oh too harsh? Well that's what they did to Belushi!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's a Horrible Life. On Crack.
shaunlandry-25 April 2005
I saw this film in the movie theater. I was taking classes at the Second City Chicago and of course the buzz of this movie was intense. It is a Woodward film about one of Second City's Native sons.

Everyone knew about Johns history. Everyone knew how he died. Some even knew that the lore did not make him out to be particularly friendly towards women in improv or comedy.

But hey. the man led his life and he was loved intensely by the people who were in his world, and lore also states that he treated all of his close friends with love and respect.

This movie. Well. Forget the idea of poor Michael Chilklis (who is a really great actor) being in a really astonishingly bad film, and really only relegated to doing an impersonation of the man.

Forget the idea that they could not get the rights to any of Belushi's work...and all the SNL scenes never happened that they portrayed in the movie.

Screw the idea that half of the historical information in the film did not even follow Bob Woodwards work. Kinda saying "Okay...we are about to mess with Belushi...now lets go after Woodward too..." They also decided to take the premise of It's a Wonderful Life and turn it into It's a Horrible Life on Crack.

Is he a guardian angel or the devil? Is the pinball machine the devil's assistant electronic device...how many different endings can you tack onto to a movie? It is one of those movies after it is over...you look at the person you are with and in stunned disbelief go "What the hell was that?!" In some circles this movie has become a kinda cult classic. But for good reason.

A good cult classic you sit around the screen and make fun of (or throw out snappy one liners) to the screen. A cult film is never good. And most people would never watch them in any serious context.

If you want to watch some classic bad late 80's fair stoned? Rent Wired. If you want to know about John Belushi...you can get more information off of the walls of Second City Chicago than this movie.
5 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
BEAR-13213 February 2000
"Wired" would have to rate as one of the ten worst films I have ever seen. The writing and direction show a stunning lack of imagination and I'm sure that most of the actors still cringe whenever anyone mentions this film.

It fails to work either as a tribute to Belushi's unique talent, or as an accurate account of his short life.

A pointless mess with no redeeming features.
3 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This debacle was destined for failure.
imbluzclooby23 October 2019
Wired was so reviled by the few groups who saw it before it's initial release that it had already become panned goods before its brief stint in the theaters. Having been seen by a few members of John Belushi's circle, Dan Akroyd included, those few maligned this film for the misguided and bizarre camp that it was. And rightfully so. Dan Akroyd, Belushi's closest friend and cohort urged the public not to see this film due to its offensive nature and its lack of realistic content. Who can blame them? On what should have been a sentimental portrait and funny recount of the actor's life turns out to be the most unflattering, tasteless, nearly repulsive and weirdly conceived idea of presenting a Biopic.

Apparently, Wired, based loosely on the Bob Woodward biography of the late John Belushi, had problems from the very beginning. I never read the book, but I heard some bad things about it. And after seeing this excruciatingly unwatchable film I'm lead to skepticism on whether some of the content is even factual. Regardless if you were an SNL or Belushi fan there is no question that this nauseating snoozefest will put off nearly any viewer. Bob Woodward served as a consultant and main promoter to this film and was invariably met with rejection from many distributors who wanted nothing to do with this project. It took nearly three years to get this project into full swing, because they couldn't find an actor to play the lead role. So, they cast their hopes on a complete unknown and newcomer named Michael Chiklis. This naïve young actor, although a good and respectable actor, has the impossible task of recreating the legend along with trudging through this sordid material.

As for the movie? What can I say? It's a bleak attempt to serve as an allegory on Drug abuse whilst using the "Christmas Carol" theme with some bizarre dreamlike sequences and frenetic usage of flashbacks combined with hallucinatory scenes. This non-linear approach to storytelling has been done effectively with other films. But here it looks absurd and inappropriate. Michael Chiklis is a capable actor today and has proven his value as a performer, but here he falls short. We can see he's trying very hard and he does put much effort into the role. Unfortunately, he doesn't capture the mannerisms, explosive humor or impeccable timing that Belushi possessed. Impersonating a legend can be difficult, especially if you are going to attempt to do someone as wild and unpredictable as Belushi. The film shows a few reenactments of the famous JB sketches from The Blues Brothers, The Samurai baseball scene, and a couple of others. But it's like he's just going through the motions and can't quite nail the comedic timing of the moment which Belushi was so good at. Therefore, these few unfunny sketch reenactments just drag and are used as markers in an obligatory fashion to remind us of what JB did in his outrageous and relatively brief career. But aside from his lackluster performance, the movie doesn't reveal Belushi's innate charisma and likability. Instead he's portrayed as a childish, boorish and unstable drug addled misfit who's unable to deal with life. One would question how this guy was able to become a worldwide comedic heavyweight.

This movie has many weirdly conceived ideas that just don't blend together nor do they go anywhere such as the Guardian Angel Velasquez, who acts more like a nemesis than a Spirit guide. And by the end we are still not sure what his purpose was. Bob Woodward's character, played very dryly by J.T. Walsh, is shown as a key character in the movie. This was an audacious attempt to present him as a key person in Belushi's death investigation, but it ends up being an inexcusably vain attempt to present him as a saintly figure watching over John's demise.

So much is wrong that the movie doesn't have any inspiring highpoints. We only get artistically unbalanced scenes that appear contrived, surreal or completely implausible. It tries to be Avant Garde so much that we can't really connect with it.

If you want to see a really good movie about a Comedic talent, I suggest you watch Man on the Moon starring Jim Carey. That is how a biopic should be made.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
John Belushi - actor and/or individual
Patrik_Lemberg4 March 2006
I haven't seen this, but have read everything about it (trivia, reviews, comments...) on IMDb and understand that it is not a biography worthy of an Academy Award. I understand that Aykroyd was upset about the way the film displayed Belushi (if not all content) and assume I wouldn't rely on this as a source of biographical information. However, many of those expressing themselves similarly who have seen this film suggest for people to watch "Animal House," "Blues Brothers" and "Continental Divide" in order to experience Belushi properly, as if watching him act is watching him in real life, which is VERY misleading...a fantasy for many fans, I assume. Don't kid yourselves assuming he was a sweet lovable guy just because he might have played various characters of such qualities. This goes for Chris Farley as well (or actually any actor - stage or screen - famous or unknown.) Belushi and Farley had many things in common; they were both made famous on SNL; they both had problems with overweight and drugs; they both acted in a similar amount of movies after having left SNL; they both died at the age of 33 from an overdose of heroin and cocaine. With all of the above in mind, what people love about the two (including myself) is their talents, abilities to make others laugh, acting skills and characters, but as I never met any of the two entertainers (Belushi died 4 months prior to my birth) I have no idea (other than what I've read or heard from their close ones) what they were like in real life. Not having seen this movie I shouldn't comment too much, but judging on its rating, trivia, reviews etc. I doubt that the movie is meant to high-light Belushi's career peaks. From what I understand it seems to be a pretty avant-garde picture, which is something one should keep in mind while watching. ...my message here is mainly a reminder that "Animal House" does not display who the person John Belushi was remotely accurately (even though you may want to draw parallels between Belushi and his scripted characters all you like.) Just admit it - he was a great performer/entertainer/actor/comedian (all of the above or whatever sounds good to you,) but if you weren't one of his close friends you didn't know him.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A whole a skecht without soul
salciuco@inwind.it18 February 2003
This movie narrate the story of John Belushi,based of his biography `Wired' , wrote by Bob Woodward.All of movie is narrate on flashback without a chronological order , where after the death of John Belushi we see one angel accompany Belushi during few points of his life.Michael Chicklis in the character of John Belushi is enough credible , but entirely devoid of the devastate force of Belushi ,and his play stay only a pale animation.The director,on more,not succeed to give continuate on the story , that for who not knows the book is very confused. But the worse is that they have featured Bob Woodward that spoke with Belushi before he died. For this negative points the movie is only a would-be attempt to narrate the controversial story of John Belushi. My rate is 4.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed