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DVD Review: Jessy Terrero’s Soul Plane on MGM Home Entertainment

Soul Plane isn’t even good if you’re high, but Mo’Nique sure is funny.

2.5

Soul Plane

Sit back, fasten your seat belts, and get ready to fly the stereotypical skies. In Soul Plane, a small-time entrepreneurial loser, Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart), gets 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 black 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 all the bling-bling accoutrements that the passengers’ hip-hop-loving hearts desire.

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, Jessy Terrero’s dunderheaded film should have been left in the studio hangar. Homophobic and equal-opportunity racist, 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 black-loving clan returning from a vacation at “Cracker Land.”

Given Soul Plane’s boisterous, hit-and-miss nature, there are a few amusingly inane moments—from Salt N’ Pepa’s “Push It” serving as a laxative to 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. Which is to say, Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker’s Airplane this is not.

Image/Sound

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.

Extras

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.

Overall

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.”

Cast: Tom Arnold, Kevin Hart, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, K.D. Aubert, Godfrey, Brian Hooks, D.L. Hughley, Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson, John Witherspoon Director: Jessy Terrero Screenwriter: Chuck Wilson, Bo Zenga Distributor: MGM Home Entertainment Running Time: 92 min Rating: NR Year: 2004 Release Date: September 7, 2004 Buy: Video

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