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Soul Plane


Soul Plane

Director: Jessy Terrero
Runtime: 100 minutes
Cast: Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Tom Arnold

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For Soul Plane, stereotypes are more than just a cheap source of prefabricated gags, characters, and scenarios. Stereotypes are the air the film breathes, its reason for being, and a Rosetta Stone that unlocks all its mysteries. As long on lows as it is short on creativity, the film stars the blandtastic Kevin Hart, an airline passenger introduced racing to the bathroom during an oppressively Caucasian flight, expelling waste and unappealing noises in stereo surround sound, then struggling not to get sucked into a rapacious toilet while his beloved pooch meets a brutal death outside the lavatory window.

Sadly, Hart is Soul Plane's most multidimensional character. He at least gets to do some earnest speechifying, which is more than can be said for the usually funny John Witherspoon, whose blind horndog character at one point mistakes a stuffed potato for female genitalia. Not to be out-humiliated in the ongoing degradation derby, Sofia Vergara's oversexed Latina stewardess spends much of one scene dry-humping the plane's cockpit, much to the delight of its hormone-crazed crew.

Hart stars as an enterprising entrepreneur who's awarded $100 million following the death of his canine companion. He uses the money to start a black-themed airline that provides a safe haven for a wide assortment of crass, regressive stereotypes, ranging from a swishy, salacious queen to an Ebonics-spouting white youth. Hart's introduction establishes the template for the entire film: desperate half-gags further botched by clumsy camera work and atrocious timing.

In the midst of this comic black hole, only Snoop Dogg and Method Man emerge unscathed, as even material this bad can't mask their languid, long-limbed charisma. Playing, respectively, a goofy, irresponsible stoner and a goofy, irresponsible stoner, they come closest to giving this comatose would-be romp signs of life, but its laziness and lack of ambition suggest that Meth and Snoop weren't the only stoners involved.