Airplane this is not. In Jessy Terrero’s Soul Plane, a small-time entrepreneurial loser named Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) gets himself stuck in an airplane toilet, and winds up successfully suing for $100 million. What to do with such a cargo of cash? Start up a big pimping airline for African-American customers called NWA (Nashawn Wade Airlines, natch) featuring Snoop Dogg as the dope-smoking pilot, Mo’Nique as the trash-talking security guard, Method Man as a goofy clown, buxom airline stewardesses, and every bling bling accoutrement the passengers’ hip-hop-loving hearts could desire. Sit back, fasten your seat belts, and get ready to fly the stereotypical skies. An urban comedy in which procuring music video status symbols of gaudy jewelry, Cristal champagne, spinning rims, and bootylicious honeys is depicted as the African-American dream, Terrero’s dunderheaded film should have been left in the studio hangar. Homophobic and racist (toward both blacks and whites), the film is an assembly line of jokes about fried chicken and 40s, flamboyant gays and idiotic whites, here embodied by a goofy Tom Arnold and his jungle fever-afflicted clan returning from a vacation at “Cracker Land.” Considering its boisterous, hit-or-miss style, there are a few amusingly inane moments—using the Salt N’ Pepa classic “Push It” as a laxative, the disastrous consequences of using a cellphone in the air—but they’re largely drowned out in a storm of dubious (and pathetic) race-related jokes. NWA is located in Terminal Malcolm X! The plane is outfitted like a Chevy Escalade! Everyone’s suspicious of the Arab guy in the turban! As idiotic as it is immature, Soul Plane‘s infatuation with playa culture will likely have most reaching for the barf bag.
Popeyes. Barbecue chitlins. Ganja. Gay panic. Hot snatch. I get it already, but can someone explain all the purple in the film? Blinding as the color may be, it sure looks good on this Soul Plane DVD. The sound, though, is hit or miss: The bass is hot when the music kicks in, but dialogue is a little flat. Indeed, it's never a good sign when the audio sounds better on the interactive menus.
First up are two making-of documentaries. For the lowest common denominator there's "Boarding Pass: The Making of Soul Plane," which allows the cast to relish the film's clichés, and the ever-so-smarter but infinitely shorter "The Upgrade," which has several cast members whacking off to director Jessy Terrero. That's followed by four deleted scenes, an amusing compilation of outtakes, a jokey cast audio commentary that could have used a little Mo'Nique, the Survivor Safety Video in its entirety, two photo galleries, a "Def Jam" video game trailer, and trailers for Soul Plane, Walking Tall, Species III, Barbershop, Barbershop II, and Dorm Daze.
Soul Plane isn't even good if you're high, but Mo'Nique sure is funny: "Yeah, I got a whole lot of strength in the slap-a-bitch arm."