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Preview Image for Soul Plane (UK)
Soul Plane (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000066958
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 14/12/2004 15:21
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    Review of Soul Plane

    3 / 10


    It took me some time to begin this review. I`ve been consistently drawing a blank trying to find a suitable introduction. I don`t think it`s writer`s block (heaven forbid), but merely the dispiriting experience that was my evening in the company of Soul Plane, a film that claims to be a comedy, but is in danger of breaching the Trade Descriptions Act. Truly funny comedies are few and far between. It`s a rare film that actually has me laughing out loud, and with modern Hollywood now in the possession of the golden formula (toilet gags), it`s an experience that is becoming rarer still. Soul Plane was one of those films that breezed in and out of cinemas earlier this year, and has now unfortunately found its way onto my DVD player.

    NaShawn Wade has a distressing experience on an aeroplane. He gets food poisoning, trapped in a toilet and has the traumatic shock of watching his beloved pet dog Dre get sucked into a jet engine. This being the United States, naturally he sues. Surprisingly though, the jury are in a generous mood, and award damages of $100 million. It gives him the opportunity to realise his dream and start an airline of his own, an airline run for black people, by black people, an airline with bling. The debut flight of NWA flight 069 to New York promises to be eventful, especially for the Hunkees, a white family whose original flight is cancelled, and get transferred to NaShawn`s brainchild instead. Let the hilarity commence.


    It`s a recent film, and as you would expect, the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer raises no concerns. It`s clear throughout, with plenty of bright vivid purples. There`s just the smallest hint of grain, but once I started watching the film, any deficiencies in the image seemed pointless.


    The sound of Soul Plane is presented here in a DD 5.1 English track. It`s a fine track, with plenty of use for the surrounds. The dialogue is clear throughout, and the LFE certainly earns its keep with the music for this film. If R&B and rap is your thing, then the pounding bass of some of these tunes will be waking up the neighbours. It`s a shame that you can`t just listen to the music, without having to put up with the film. The film is subtitled in English and Dutch.


    Boarding Pass: The Making of Soul Plane is just that. Lasting for 25 minutes and presented in 4:3 letterbox it`s your usual PR stuff, plenty of film clips and behind the scenes footage interspersed with cast and crew interviews.

    The Upgrade is a 5-minute look at director Jessy Terrero, whose film debut this is. He was previously a music video director, and this shows how he has coped with the change.

    There are two minutes of cracking up and goofing around in the Outtakes.

    There are 11 deleted scenes on this disc, the first seven you can view with or without the cast commentary while the final four are just the scenes. You have to select the scenes one by one, as there is no play all option. It`s more of the same quite frankly.

    The Survivor Safety Video lets you view the complete video that the flight attendants perform in the film.

    There are around 40 behind the scenes and cast photos in a gallery for your perusal, as well as the theatrical trailer.

    Finally, there is the cast commentary with stars Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold, Gary Anthony Williams and Godfrey, as well as director Jessy Terrero. It`s about as interesting as the film, and the commentary does descend into a free-for all at times, with a lot of yammering and giggling. Fortunately all the extras including the commentaries are subtitled in English and Dutch.


    What a depressing experience Soul Plane was. It has made writing this review a wholly tedious affair, as I have to actually recall the film. It is ninety minutes of groan-worthy gags, punctuated by the occasional moment of real humour, laughs that were too few and far between for my liking.

    It`s a simple form of comedy, the easy route of pointing out what is different, of finding what is funny in terms of us versus them. Soul Plane is a comedy where we are supposed to laugh at just how a black person`s airline will differ from a white person`s airline. It starts off promisingly enough, and I must admit the sight of a low-riding 747 made me laugh. The first class is excessively plush, and business class quite swanky, but low class is manky indeed, with standing room in the back. There is also a casino, pole dancing and a nightclub on the plane, as well as an attendant in the toilet. Unfortunately the jokes descend to the lowest and most crass, with the token gay character, toilet humour, plenty of big buttocked women, and as soon as the Arab guy boards the plane, you can sense the Osama gags coming. When the Hunkee family (read Honky) board, the puerile culture clash begins. I really don`t want to recall any more.

    I`ve got nothing against political incorrectness; in fact I feel it is a healthier state of affairs than the reverse. But a politically incorrect comedy has to be intelligent, subversive or at least have some bite, and above all, funny. Soul Plane has none of that. It`s just comedy that plays to the lowest denominator. The bottom line is that if a comedy makes you laugh only rarely, and then you actually feel guilty for laughing, then it`s one to avoid. Watch Airplane instead.

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