Soul Plane – Unrated
"Soul Plane" is the urban take-off of the old "Airplane" movies. It's a movie without a star actor or director. Jessy Terrero takes his turn directing his first major film. Jessy is better known as a music video director. That talent is put to use as this movie feels like one big rap video.
Unknown comedian Kevin Hart stars as Nashawn Wade, an out of luck wannabe entrepreneur. Nashawn has a mishap on an airline – I'll save you the bathroom humor and sues the airline to the tune of $100 million. Using his newfound fortune, he founds N.W.A. – Nashawn Wade Airlines, with the help of his knucklehead cousin Muggsy (Method Man). "Soul Plane" is the story of their maiden voyage.
The cast is made mostly of "B" level comedians and rappers that want to be actors. The two "biggest" names in the movie play insignificant parts – Tom Arnold as the patriarch of the token White family and D.L. Hughley as the bathroom attendant.
Terrero insists on "ghettofizing" the entire N.W.A. experience – from an airplane with spinner rims, to a smoking section that is made of up marijuana tokers. Don't get me wrong, there are some funny gags – for instance the "low class" passengers having to pass a box of chicken out during the meal, but mostly the gags just aren't funny. The captain of this plane is none other than rapper/actor Snoop Dogg as Captain Antoine Mack. Snoop really doesn't have to stretch to play the role of this weed smoking captain, but does have some funny moments.
Just about everyone will be offended by aspects of this film – Black people, White people, Middle Easterners. The comedy has to stoop to those levels in attempt to be funny. The ensemble cast does however seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and the premise of the movie could work with a tighter storyline, better direction and better acting – too much to ask? Also having a somewhat plausible plot would work.
Having not seen the "R" rated version of this movie, I'm not sure what the "extra" 5 minutes of footage gives you. The nudity isn't such that it would warrant anything stronger than an "R", in fact most the nudity in the film occurs during the clips on the menu.
How Does it Look? - The movie actually looks great. There are numerous colors that are enhanced with the 1.85:1 anamorphic rendering. I didn't notice many issues with the clean print.
How Does it Sound? - This 5.1 mix is very bass heavy with a ton of rap music. The dialogue seems to be recorded on a lower volume level however. The music does sound good however. Overall the sound isn't bad and you'll notice quite a few current rap hits.
Boarding Pass: The Making of Soul Plane - This is roughly 25 minutes of a behind the scenes look at the film. All of the principle actors are interviewed and talk about their experiences in the film. One of the overwhelming themes is the sense of fun that they all had making this movie. You really do feel that they indeed had fun making the movie in the way the acting is done – that doesn't mean that movie is actually funny!
The Upgrade - Additional "behind the scenes' look – this one running about 5 minutes. I'm not sure why this wasn't included in the main BTS feature. This segment and the previous one are "R" rated and loaded with profanity.
Deleted Scenes - Four deleted scenes. Nothing that really adds to the movie. There is also no audio commentary on any of these.
Outtakes - This is a two minute gag reel of missed lines and the like.
Cast Audio Commentary - Audio commentary with Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold, Gary Anthony Williams, Godfrey and Director Jessy Terrero. This is commentary that you can skip as nothing earth shattering is talked about. Much like the other extras and the film itself, the commentary feels more like play than work.
Survivor Safety Video - The Destiny's Child "Survivor" spoof video. I actually think this one is funny, especially watching the character Flame dance around.
Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery
Def Jam Video Game Trailer - Ultra violent trailer for "Def Jam: Fight for New York" due out this fall.
Other MGM Releases - Trailers for "Barbershop2: Back in Business", "Barbershop" and "Dorm Daze".
I really love to see movies that feature a predominantly African American cast succeed, but only if they're quality pictures. "Soul Plane" is not one of those movies. This movie fails because it's simply not funny. My recommendation - Skip It.