- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2004

What do you get when you spoof a spoof? Meta-spoof? I don’t know, but “Soul Plane,” a blaxploited, bling blingy, stoned-out-of-its-gourd “Airplane!” is very funny, for at least a couple late-night-TV sketches’ worth of its run time.

“Soul Plane” probably shouldn’t have been made into a feature — it’s director Jessy Terrero’s first film — but “Saturday Night Live” wasn’t calling.

So where else to put rapper Snoop Dogg as the pot-addled, mushroom-chomping Captain Mack, helmer of the NWA luxury airline?

That would be your captain speaking, but, sorry, he’s knocked out from psilocybin and afraid of heights.

OK, I might as well skip to the most tasteless joke of the movie — and possibly of the last three years — so you’ll know for sure whether to keep reading. Captain Mack, a reformed convict, went to flight school with a certain group of Arab men.

The screening audience I sat with let out a collective groan-laugh when Snoop Dogg, for a very quick second, flashes a Polaroid of his turbaned classmates.

Did I laugh? Yup. Should I have? Couldn’t help it. Like Carol Burnett once said, “Comedy is tragedy plus time.”

“Soul Plane” is sure to offend everyone at least twice. It rags on the handicapped and homosexuals, it’s raunchy, gross, made-on-the-cheap and often just stupid.

Oh, and it has that perdurable goofball, Tom Arnold, this time playing a guy named Elvis Hunkee (pronounced “honky”), who is forced by circumstance onto an NWA flight with his girlfriend (Missi Pyle) and two children. They’re the only whites aboard.

NWA — hip-hop fans will know what that stands for — was the brainchild of Nashawn (Kevin Hart), who won a ludicrous lawsuit award after a humiliating incident in the lavatory of a commercial airline.

He and pal Muggsy (rapper Method Man) use the loot for an airliner of their own (housed in terminal “Malcolm X,” natch) that caters to black clientele.

The script is from Hong Kong writer Bo Zenga and Chuck Wilson, and the big idea is to poke fun at urban black culture. So, the jumbo jet is painted bright purple, it has those spinning custom rim thingies on its wheels and bounces on hydraulics as it taxis to the runway.

“Soul Plane” jokesters don’t stop there. They outfit the NWA double-decker with a Jacuzzi and a disco upstairs.

Like “Airplane!” the whole thing culminates in a silly emergency-landing episode.

It’s not Zucker-brother smart, but, if you’ve read this far and not winced, “Soul Plane” has a good chance of making you laugh.

Just know that it’ll cost you all the minutes on your PC calling card — and you may want to shower when it’s over.

**

TITLE: “Soul Plane”

RATING: R (Strong sexual content; profanity; drug use)

CREDITS: Directed by Jessy Terrero. Produced by Mr. Terrero, Paul Hall, David Rubin and Bo Zenga. Written by Mr. Zenga and Chuck Wilson. Cinematography by Jonathan Sela. Original music by Christopher Lennertz and RZA.

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes.

WEB SITE: https://www.soulplane.com

MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS

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