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Soul Plane (2004)

The party is nonstop

Directed by:

Jessy Terrero

Rating: 1/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

Some films are so bad that they actually become enjoyable (they’re often the ones involving Steven Seagal). ‘Soul Plane’, on the other hand, is just plain bad. In fact, I’d go even further than that and say it’s detestable. How else can you describe a film that so unashamedly sponges off every crude black stereotype imaginable?

In a plot that would be considered flimsy if used in a rap video, let alone a feature length movie, Kevin Hart plays Nashawn, a loud-mouthed lay-about who’s awarded a ridiculous $100 million in compensation for getting his rear end stuck to an aeroplane toilet seat. He uses his newfound fortune to set up Nashawn Wade Airlines (or NWA for short), who operate by the mantra “We fly, we party, we land.” Unfortunately, things start to go badly wrong when the entire crew (among them Snoop Dogg as the ignorant mushroom-munching Captain Mack) prove themselves incapable of administering a short flight without being side-tracked by drugs, sex, gambling, strippers and appallingly-bad jokes.

It’s the sort of film that would single-handedly set all anti-racism movements back ten years, were it not for the one saving grace that it’s unlikely to be seen by enough people to make any such impact. It portrays all black people as loud, lazy, drug-taking, sex-obsessed, obnoxious, foul-mouthed criminals – and, come to think of it, it doesn’t have much positive to say about white people either (although that’s perhaps a little more excusable, given that the only white family on-board the flight are led by Tom Arnold).

Even disregarding the racist element (which is a tough thing to do, given how relentless the onslaught is), the attempts at comedy are just downright atrocious. As an idea of the sort of level the writing aims at, you’ve got Snoop Dogg saying “Testicles 1,2” instead of “Testing 1, 2”, a dog getting sucked into an engine, and an entire flight-load of passengers cowering in fear when a man in a turban walks in. Awful, just awful.

What really makes me despair is the sheer volume of actors and actresses (some of them fairly high profile) who were apparently happy to degrade themselves by volunteering to be laughed at rather than with, for no reason other than the colour of their skin. It beggars belief that there can be any sort of market for such small-minded garbage.

It's Got: Not a single moment of hilarity. Not even one.

It Needs: An engine failure somewhere over open water.


Airplane II: The Sequel, Airplane!


Pray this insufferable exercise in stereotype-perpetration is never shown as your in-flight movie – you might just feel an urge to open all the windows.

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