Bill Cosby's worst nightmare, Soul Plane wallows in stereotypes like a pig in mud. Even Spike Lee has come out against the movie, calling it "coonery and buffoonery" -- a modern-day minstrel show. But I don't see what all the fuss is about. A disaster-flick spoof, Soul Plane is Airplane! with flava, an excuse to crack jokes about sex, drugs and whatever it is that would cause someone to paint a jet purple and outfit it with custom rims and hydraulics. Granted a $100 million settlement for nearly being sucked into oblivion by a passenger plane's malfunctioning toilet, Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) decides to start his own airline, Nashawn Wade Airlines, NWA for short. And if that reminds you of a certain rap group, keep in mind that NWA will be catering to the African American traveler, which means Cristal and duck in first class, Colt 45 and fried chicken in "low class."
It's the airline's maiden voyage, and everything that can go wrong does, starting with a pilot (Snoop Dogg) who's afraid of heights but not afraid of getting high. But mostly what we have here is a booty call at 7,000 feet, including one couple who must be charter members of the mile-high club, so assiduously do they search for brand-new places to get their freak on. That gloriously foul-mouthed comedian, Mo'Nique, shows up as a security-check maven who's willing to go the extra mile to find out what set off the metal detector. And Tom Arnold plays the head of a white family that got bumped to NWA and has come down with a bad case of jungle fever. Soul Plane doesn't really follow a flight pattern; it's just bits strung together. But the performances are so loose that the lack of direction doesn't really matter. Reveling in bad taste, the cast seems to be having a ton of fun, so why shouldn't we?