Friday, May 28, 2004
Soul Plane's Gettin' Some Bad Reviews
So far, this is the first review I've seen for "Soul Plane".
Karen Hunter did a good write up in the New York Daily News about how it was demeaning.
I can see why. The movie fits with my personal sense of humor, but when I find the article it will be posted to show that the Karen Hunter has some very valid points.
With Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Tom Arnold, Method Man, Mo'Nique. Director: Jessy Terrero (1:26). R: Strong sexual content, language, some drug use.
In "Soul Plane," about a black-owned airline that caters to an urban clientele, the less desirable seats behind first class are referred to as "low class." That also describes the humor in this gross, nearly unwatchable comedy.
It's true that some people think any joke involving a toilet is the height of sophistication, and they can have the low-class tickets to themselves. A thinking audience will reach for the barf bags.
Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) wins $100 million after an airline mistreats him (he gets stuck in the on-board toilet and his dog somehow winds up in the propeller). With the money, he sets up a carrier called NWA, a self-explanatory joke involving a rap group.
This is the airline he's always longed for — funky, hip hop, more like a hot nightclub.
"Airplane!" is the movie's most obvious inspiration, but "Soul Plane" simply uses an airplane setting for a series of mostly unrelated sketches about race, sex, travel and, of course, toilets.
Hart, a stand-up comic, is in over his head in the lead, and is not helped by having a role so amorphous that it could have been played by different actors in different scenes. Method Man has a sidekick role with, again, no particular character attached.
Snoop Dogg plays a drugged-out pilot with no flying experience, and Tom Arnold plays Elvis Hunkee, whose party of four are the only white passengers. Hunkee's girlfriend (Missi Pyle) leaves him during the trip for reasons that play on the usual racial stereotypes, and his daughter (Arielle Kebbel) celebrates her coming of age in an implied gang-rape scenario. Sex jokes are the mainstay — male inadequacy, female voraciousness, a blind man's mistake with a baked potato.
Sloppily directed by music-vid veteran Jessy Terrero, this movie should be flushed down one of its own ubiquitous toilets.
The only bright spot: Mo'Nique manages to wring a few laughs out of her role as an over-zealous airport security guard, patting down the handsome passengers and humiliating the others with an endearing imperiousness.
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