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Movie Review

Soul Plane

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, language and some drug use

Reviewed by: Todd Campbell

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Comedy, Action
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
Copyright, MGM
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Featuring: Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Gary Anthony Williams, John Witherspoon
Director: Jessy Terrero
Producer: David Scott Rubin
Distributor: MGM

This movie has some funny elements, but for the most part, the movie is little more than a series of comedy sketches, only a few of which actually relate to each other. This movie is an attempt to mesh the humorous elements of the “Airplane” movies, the “Friday” series, and “Dumb and Dumber,” depicting what the movie’s producers, director, and writers apparently feel would be an accurate portrayal of an airline run and staffed completely by African-Americans.

Every possible racial stereotype regarding blacks and whites (and even one brief Muslim stereotype joke) is presented except for the typical white-racist stereotype which is quickly dispelled when Mr. Hunkee’s girlfriend throws away his “Cracker World” trucker hat. Instead, the white family is treated the same as any other family. Interestingly enough, none of the African-American passengers have children, and only a security guard shows any paternal instinct regarding his five daughters whom he rarely gets to see. The Hunkees are the only “family” on the plane. Is the movie trying to say that only white people take responsibility for their families and that African-Americans don’t care about having families? “Soul Plane” depicts blacks as sex-crazed, pot-smoking, ’shroom-eating drunks who love to dance.

Only one black character shows any willingness to be responsible—Nashawn Wade, the owner of the airline. The female flight attendants are very professional and even motherly in their care of the passengers. The others, for the most part, are ready to take care of themselves instead of doing what is right. Again, this character flaw might have been exaggerated for the sake of comedy, but this portrayal does blacks more damage than it helps lift them to dignity. God created all human beings, all in various skin colors, all of various physiques, all of various personalities—to glorify the negative aspects of human nature is not of God. To realize who we are in Christ, to realize the precious treasure we are as children of the living God, to realize our place as princesses and princes in the kingdom of God is difficult, and movies such as “Soul Plane” do not make the process any easier.

As with movies that portray a negative black stereotype, “Soul Plane” has a number of sexual references—lust and desire run amuck in this near-Babylon of the air. One couple actively wants to be members of the “Mile High Club” and tries to have sex in their first-class bench seats, in the bathroom, in the cockpit, and finally on the landing gear. In one scene, the couple uses sado-masochistic techniques to attempt their goal, but like most of their attempts, they fail. Physical intimacy is a part of a married couple’s relationship, but this couple was not married and had no other intimacy. Had they based their relationship on God’s love, had they committed to each other in marriage and total intimacy of spirit and heart and mind, then they would not be forced to such extremes to achieve the “something” they were looking for.

Copyright, MGM

Surprisingly, the movie does not have any nudity, though some of the clothes fit tightly and reveal more than needed, especially when such body parts are given close-ups. In fact, the Super Bowl halftime show had more nudity than this movie, but this movie has too much unnecessary profanity (I lost count of all the instances of major swear words) and too many unnecessary sexual references (I lost count here, too). There is one disgusting scene involving a baked potato which I feel gross merely mentioning here. Homosexuality plays a role in this movie when one of the flight attendants, named “Flame,” is homosexual, and Mr. Hunkee’s absent ex-wife is a lesbian. In fact, in one “homosexual”-based scene, a few Catholic priests are included in a Conga line. A sexual stereotype regarding black males is discussed in a number of places, dealing with Barbara’s interest in a black male model and Muggsy’s attempt to flirt with the Latina flight attendant. The instances of toilet humor are similar to the toilet scene from “Dumb and Dumber.”

The Hunkees (the white family) are a very unified family. As soon as the family boards the plane, the 18-year-old daughter, the early teen son, and Barbara, the father’s girlfriend, immediately pursue their own interests rather than staying together. The father has the children for only two weekends a month, possibly another reason the family is in such turmoil. The teenage daughter is intensely rebellious at the beginning of the movie, leaving the impression that she is lost spiritually and lost to her father, but later the cause of her angst is revealed as her parents’ divorce because the mother became a lesbian. At a time when the family is still under attack and marriage is under siege, the only hope any family has for unity is a reliance on God our Father for sustenance and protection. The Hunkee children do not respect their father; he is more like an older brother. The only person he is protective of is his daughter; he basically ignores his son. Just as Christians need their heavenly Father, children need their fathers, but this movie portrays fathers in a mediocre light at best.

This is not a family film. It does not have family-based material and does not present any sort of positive view of the family.

The movie does not have any violence except the hint of a dog being sucked into a jet engine—no blood, only the quick visual of the dog flying to the engine, the sound of the dog’s bark, and the actor’s emotional response. Another instance of violence, though somewhat sex-related, is when one of the female security people forces a good-looking man to strip, and she slips her hand in a latex glove and announces, “Cavity search.” A fight almost erupts in one scene but it never happens. There are no gun fights, but the pilot smokes pot and eats ’shrooms throughout the movie until he passes out.

The movie has no plot to tie the comic sketches together, unlike the “Airplane” movies where the jokes somehow contributed to a larger storyline. The subplots of the Hunkee family’s intra-relationship and Nashawn trying to win back his ex-girlfriend are not enough to say this movie tells any sort of story, unlike movies such as “Barbershop,” “Friday,” and “Gonna Get You Sucka” which had stories to tell and portrayed African-Americans in a more positive light while making the audience laugh. Those movies had a number of noble characters who defended good against evil; “Soul Plane” has no strong character of goodness; they are all corrupt.

“Soul Plane” is little more than a Sodom and Gomorrah in the air with, essentially, the inmates running the asylum.

This movie is not worth the price of admission or the gas price to get to the theater. Save your money for another movie, preferably one of those recommended on this Web site.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “After a humiliating and horrific experience on a commercial flight, Nashawn Wade (KEVIN HART) sues and is awarded a $100 million settlement. Determined to make good with his newfound wealth, he decides to create the airline of his dreams. With the help of his cousin Muggsy (METHOD MAN), Nashawn creates NWA Airlines, the first full-service carrier designed to cater to the urban traveler.

A one-of-a-kind airliner, NWA’s metallic purple and chrome-colored plane comes complete with a hot onboard dance club, live DJs and funky music, its own sassy security crew (including MO’NIQUE), sexy flight attendants (including SOFIA VERGARA), a bathroom attendant named Johnny (D.L. HUGHLEY), and a first class section where the Cristal flows like the flightpath—non-stop.

Departing on its maiden voyage out of Los Angeles, NWA flight #O-69 leaves the ground en route to New York City with a full passenger roster and Captain Mack (SNOOP DOGG) behind the controls in the tricked-out cockpit. The passengers include Nashawn’s furious ex-girlfriend, Giselle (K.D. AUBERT), as well as Elvis Hunkee (Tom Arnold), his girlfriend, Barbara (MISSI PYLE), and his two kids (RYAN PINKSTON and ARIELLE KEBBEL). As the onboard party gets more outrageous, the customers get wilder, and chaos reigns throughout the aircraft, Nashawn is forced to land the plane himself and save his airline. With the help of Muggsy, his crew, and Mr. Hunkee, Nashawn brings the plane down in a climax that gives “flying the friendly skies” a whole new meaning.”

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Comments from young people
Positive—Soul Plane was one of the funniest comedies so far this year. If you like movies such as Friday or How High you will love this movie. I did not expect there to be as many laughs as their were. The beginning of the movie was hilarious and then there were some funny parts throughout the movie. Yes, many people will be offended by this movie due to the fact that Soul Plane makes fun of every person and nationality, white and black and Arabic, every opportunity it has. There is also some sexual content but, no nudity just a lot of sexual references. Also, there is a lot of language, the reviewer said she lost count but, there were about 100 “f” words and 80 “s” words and many other profanities. I would only recommend this movie if you are not easily offended or not offended by much at all because it is hilarious.
My Ratings: [Average/4]
—Jordan, age 16