Soul Plane

Bomb Rating: 

It's no secret that black audiences laugh at different things than white audiences. It's no secret that most black people have a different experience of America than most white people. However, anybody who just glosses over the blatant misogyny and racism in this film is simply an apologist for the kind of despicable behavior that served to oppress black people in the first place. Actually, what this movie proves is that all races are full of stupid people and that color should provide no cover when it comes to stupidity.

There's a scene in this movie just as the plane is taking off where we see a man from behind walking up the aisle to his seat. As he walks, everyone stares at him with fearful looks. Of course, when he turns around, he's Middle Eastern. Jamiqua (Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson) tells him something to the effect of "You ain't going nowhere, Osama." Now, one might look at this as "turnabout is fair play," but what it really illustrates is that people who have been victims of discrimination can be surprisingly quick to become its practitioners once they find themselves in power. Of course, anybody who knows anything about history or human nature knows this already, but you'd think the filmmakers would realize that most people watching African-Americans play white cops to this Arab guy's black motorist are going to see a little bit of irony.

And naturally, since this is a black movie, women are little more than bitches and hoes. Jamiqua is empowered a little bit, but she's basically a she-bitch. The airline's owner, Nashawn (Kevin Hart) pines for Giselle (K.D. Aubert), but beyond that all the other women are strictly eye candy. There's also a co-pilot named Gaeman, so there are lots of quaint jokes about homosexuality.

The movie might have been infinitely better had it simply stuck to an "Airplane"-like jokefest. Instead, the writers try to weave a ridiculous story in some lame effort to bring meaning to this piece of crap. Nashawn gets the money for the airline after his dog is killed by another airline when it's somehow sucked through the engine. He goes to trial and the jury awards him 100 million dollars. Clearly, somebody doesn't have a clear understanding of how the courts work, but whatever. The thing ends with some ridiculous resolution between Nashawn and Giselle, a storyline that's introduced halfway through the film, so it's not like anybody even cares.

Here are a few other things I'm tired of seeing in movies: Snoop Dogg as the druggie (in this case he's the pilot), white kids pretending to be black kids (yes, they're idiots -- we get it), and Tom Arnold (he plays Mr. Hunkee). Of course, unfunny and Tom Arnold kind of go together, so this movie really has it all.

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