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Soul Plane (2004)
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Review Date: May 28, 2004
Director: Jessy Terrero
Writer: Bo Zenga, Chuck Wilson
Producers: Paul Hall, David Rubin, Jessy Terrero, Bo Zenga
Actors:
Snoop Dogg as Captain Mack
Tom Arnold as Mr. Hunkee
Kevin Hart as Nashawn
Plot:
A struggling black man receives a hefty court settlement and decides to take his newfound earnings and create the first African-American airlines complete with hottie stewardesses, stoned pilots, hip-hop dance floors and plenty of other stereotypical gags.
Critique:
Spike Lee compared this film to a "form of cancer" and seeing how he's such a fun-loving, goofy sort of guy (yeah, that's sarcasm), I guess I could see that point of view if you're someone who simply can't appreciate humor coming from the source of many stereotypes in both American black and white culture. This film is not a classic by any means, it makes fun of people, it contains dumb-ass jokes made by dumb-ass characters in a dumb-ass plot about a dumb-ass airline, but you know what...I laughed. I laughed a little at the beginning, I laughed quite a bit through its first hour or so, and even though its final act simply could not maintain a steady source of funnies, I still found myself mildly entertained by it all. I only wish this film had more inspiration behind it, a better screenplay, many more memorable and hilarious gags, as opposed to the frequent, but somewhat funny, jokes spread around as it is. I was hoping for an AIRPLANE from the African-American point of view, but didn't even get close to the consistent amount of humor found in that classic film (or its very funny sequel) The laughs are sporadic here, and as per most comedies, entirely subjective to each viewer's own sense of humor. Do you think characters spoutin' the words "bitch" and "nigga" every few minutes is something that might make you laugh? I didn't, but Mo'Nique and Snoop Dogg's respective delivery of those words, along with their obvious presence and enthusiasm, made me laugh along and join the party-like atmosphere in this film and its cool-ass plane. The premise of the movie is a funny one, with the stereotypical African-American flying experience including stuff like the concourse X (featuring a chicken/waffle restaurant) for flight 69 of the NWA airlines. Setting the airline safety video to Destiny Child's "Survivor" was also pretty funny.

Sure, much of what goes down in this film isn't helpful to the urban culture as it stands, but nobody is trying to cure cancer (sorry Spike) with this film. It was created solely for dumb-ass laughs and for the most part, it delivers, particularly for a cheap video night with your buddies. Many of the film's jokes do fall flat though, especially anything to do with John Witherspoon's very unfunny blind character, as well as a sexed-up couple just wanting to get jiggy throughout the entire film. Tom Arnold's "cracker" character could also have been much funnier and D.L. Hughley is sadly underused. That said, Snoop Dogg was as cool and relaxed as ever, appearing as though he'd actually been smoking some shit during his scenes (and let's face it...he likely had) The film's peppy soundtrack, hot chicks and provocative humor (not sure how everyone will take the 9/11 jokes, but they're in there) also added to the punch, as well as the film's main star...the kickass, purple, bootie-ass plane! Now that's one airline that I would definitely sign my sorry-ass up for. And how about that friggin' discotheque? Sweet. The one element that I thought this film was really lacking was the T&A factor though. I mean, if you're gonna jam your film with profanity, pilots munching on mushrooms and sexual connotations galore, how about you toss a few titties and asses into the mix as well? A letdown on that front. But overall, the film delivers half of the time, which is why I would recommend it on the video front, and maybe in theaters, but even then, only to those folks who don't mind over-the-top stereotypes (love that Popeye's!) and crude and rude humor. The airlines' motto was one of the funnier bits in the film: "We Fly. We Party. We Land." Nice! Oh, and by the way...the film has no plot whatsoever.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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