Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I remember when SOUL PLANE first came out in theaters and left fairly quickly. While I enjoyed the movie once I saw it on DVD I could also understand why it didn’t last that long. The movie offers tons of funny jokes that would make uptight, politically correct types cringe while watching the film rather than realize that it was all funny. Jerry Seinfeld’s recent comments concerning the lack of humor found among those who are politically correct would no doubt have problems with this film. Those who realize it is nothing more than a comedy will have more than their fair share of laughs.

The movie features Kevin Hart in an early starring role as Nashawn, a man whose trip on a major airline turns disastrous for him as his dog is hurtled from the cargo hold into the engine of the plane while he finds himself stuck to a toiler as an inept attendant tries to flush the system while he’s on it. The end result of this incident is having Nashawn awarded $10 million in a court case. What does he do with the money? He starts his OWN airline.

The jokes that some would find uncomfortable begin here. A number of black stereotype situations begin to show immediately, from two TSA type agents checking out those boarding the plane to businesses that cater to black shoppers in the waiting area, businesses like sports clothing and a basketball court to be used until the plane boards. What the easily offended might not see is that in using these racial stereotypes, much like BLAZING SADDLES did years earlier, it takes away the stigmatism attached to them. Instead we’re left with something to laugh at.

One running joke in the film is found in a white family who were bumped to this airline when their plane was rescheduled to fly out later. This family finds a fairly uptight father who is overprotective of his soon to turn 18 year old daughter, a wife who finds herself attracted to a well-endowed black sports figure and a son whose desire to be black finds him talking in slang and dressing in basketball attire. While it could have come off as offensive as presented among the many jokes here it actually plays well.

Various problems rise as Nashawn discovers that his cousin Muggsy (Method Man) who was supposed to help has recruited more employees based on their connections to him from the hood than from their ability to actually do their jobs. Of particular note is pilot Captain Mack (Snoop Dog) who’s logged all of his air time on a flight simulator while doing time in jail. Muggsy also has a number of get rich quick schemes on the plane as well from strippers to gambling.

None of this helps Nashawn as he discovers the girl of his dreams, a woman he left behind long ago, on the plane. While he tries to redeem himself in her eyes he always seems to be placed in a situation where she will misunderstand what is going on. He has the chance to do so towards the end of the film when in typical AIRPORT fashion he has to land the plane somehow.

The movie is not to be taken seriously folks. It is played for laughs from start to finish. I can tell you now that some will call this film racist (and have) but while I was watching all I found was humor on screen. Things like the fact that the airplane has spinning rims on the wheels and hydraulics to make it bounce up and down on the runway are images you won’t forget and should be able to laugh at.

While the move may not be an award winner or go down in history as starting a trend, it does offer some laughs and an early performance by Hart in a starring role, one that he’s grown into comfortably over the years and deservedly so. It also features an early performance by Sofia Vergara as a lusty airline attendant. The movie is well made and the transfer to blu-ray by Olive Films offers a clean, crisp picture. It also offers both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film as well as several featurettes, outtakes and deleted scenes among other things.

If you’re looking for a laugh and you’re not too uptight then this one will provide. If you’re looking for something to be offended by at every turn, well, you’ll find that here as well. Depending on whether or not you have a sense of humor will determine how you walk away from this film. For me I left laughing.

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