Cast: Kevin Hart, Method Man, Tom Arnold, Snoop Dogg, K.D.
Aubert, Arielle Kebbel, Ryan Pinkston, Missi Pyle
Pop quiz: What is Soul Plane? A) A low-brow
comedy exploiting the differences between black
people and white people. B) A hideous hybrid of
House Party, Airplane, and Police
Academy 4. C) A complete waste of time and
money. If you answered A, B, or C, then I’m
sorry, but you’re wrong. The correct answer
is “all of the above.”
Watching the trailers, I knew this movie was
going to be stupid. Sitting in the theater, though,
I was praying it would turn out to be a Night
At The Roxbury or even Dude, Where’s
My Car? stupid. Compared to Soul Plane,
though, those movies are hall-of-famers. I think
it must have employed every black/white stereotype
ever to appear in a Sinbad act: a purple airplane
with rims, two attendants with attitudes as big
as their waistlines, a nerdy white man in a sweater
vest and thick-rimmed glasses. I was just like,
“Come on already! This isn’t
even beating the dead horse any more—the
damn thing is a puddle of glue!” Despite
my barely suppressed groans, though, Soul Plane
just kept ’em coming. I think I might have
swallowed my tongue when it busted out the cowhide-upholstered
Texas Airline. Last time I checked, Houston was
home to quite a few high-dollar stars, including
the illustrious Beyonce. I didn’t
see her wearing a cowboy hat at the last
The plot of Soul Plane is this: When Nashawn
Williams (Hart) wins a $100 million settlement
against a major airline, the disgruntled passenger
decides to start his own airline. His airline,
NWA, caters especially to the tastes of the “urban”
population, with basketball courts in the terminal,
a club on the jet’s upper deck, and cold
Colt 45 served in the lower-class section. The
only thing that could possibly be missing from
this gross stereotype is a rapper or two. Oh,
wait, that’s right, Soul Plane has
five (or four, if you count the Ying-Yang Twins
as one entity). In a parallel but soon to be perpendicular
storyline, uber-middle-class Elvis Hunkee (Arnold)—yes,
I know—discovers that his flight to New
York has been cancelled and that the only airline
flying that way in the near future is NWA. He
and his gold-digging girlfriend (Pyle),
rebellious daughter (Kebbel), and precocious
son (Pinkston) soon find themselves immersed
in a culture quite contrary to their own and well
on their way to learning valuable life lessons.
The problem with Soul Plane (other than
everything) is that it’s all been done before.
The plot, the idea, the characters—I mean,
does anyone ever believe Snoop Dogg is
anything other than Snoop Dogg? And why is a white
kid spouting ebonics suddenly supposed to be fresh
and funny? That schtick is more played out than
a banjo in Arkansas. I chuckled at one or two
of the movie’s “cultural observances,”
but I was mostly disappointed that the writers
couldn’t come up with anything more clever
than your basic fried-chicken-and-big-you-know-what
I couldn’t even rally enough pity to give
this movie a whole star. Soul Plane literally
had no redeeming qualities. The characters were
shallow and unbelievable, the plot was unoriginal,
and the entirety of the thing felt like one big
cultural exploitation. I’m not saying it
was offensive, just that it was stupid. So so
soooo very stupid.
— Emily Younger
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...