2008 was a year we lost a lot of talent in the film industry and in the fields of comedy and music. Of said talent, the comedy business and film industry took a major blow when comedian/actor Bernie Mac passed away after a battle with pneumonia, and the music business mourned the death of soul legend Isaac Hayes from a suspected stroke. Although these legends didn't end on what some would call a high note with their last film Soul Men, it's obvious they went out in style.
The unexpected death of the lead singer for a formerly famous trio dubbed The Real Deal reunites two of the band's out of shape singers, Louis Hinds (Jackson) and Floyd Henderson (Mac), to sing a tribute song in honor of their dead friend. Stopping for gigs at cities along the way and resolving past issues, the two become closer than ever.
Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac gleam with energy and their performances are certainly upbeat. But with an uninspired plot and large amounts of foul language, Soul Men isn't exactly music to the ears. All in all, there isn't a whole lot of comedy to be found in this music-assisted buddy flick. However, it's great to see the spirit in Bernie Mac (who is gifted with some good lines and hilarious facial expressions) that shows his last movie was one that he could relate to and enjoyed making.
Director Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins) skips teenage-based comedy and turns to the rude and crude sexual humor that this generation of moviegoers loves and hates. Some of the comedy here is too broad, but doesn't go without hitting its mark from time to time.
Soul Men has talent and it shows on occasion. It all depends on what type of humor you desire. When it's not being the sporadically funny and toe-tapping entertainment it aspires to be, it's a rather offensive, predictable, and somewhat sappy story of misguided friendship. Unless your definition of funny is myriad amounts of mother-effers and cliched sexual jokes that revolve around prolonged erections and denture removal, you might want to reconsider.
It goes without saying that having a film featuring two late, great legends is a treat all its own. It's just a shame that things didn't work as well as expected as this could have been much better. Nonetheless, Soul Men is a showcase for Bernie Mac's talent and features some toe-tappin' soul music.
Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes were good men with big hearts and the special features on Soul Men prove it. Included is commentary by director Malcolm D. Lee and writers Matt Stone and Rob Ramsey, two magnificent tributes to both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, interviews with the cast and crew, "Boogie Ain't Nuttin': Behind-The-Scenes", "Bernie Mac at The Apollo", and a theatrical trailer for Soul Men.Powered by Sidelines