Though it's been some twenty years since they have spoken with one another, two estranged soul-singing legends agree to participate in a reunion performance at the Apollo Theater to honor their recently deceased band leader.
Sure, there's a plot, but the real pleasure of Soul Men
is watching the most gloriously bad-tempered men in movies face off: Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac. The best scenes consist of nothing more than these two scowling and ranting at each in top form. Louis Hinds (Jackson) and Floyd Henderson (Mac) were the Real Deal, the backup duo to a soul singer who ditched them for a hugely successful solo career. When he dies, Louis and Floyd get invited to perform in a memorial concert at the Apollo in New York. The squabbling pair reluctantly agree and head out from Los Angeles in a green convertible, performing hastily-booked gigs along the way and, of course, learning lessons about life and friendship. But even if the ending is inevitable and sugar-sweet, these two give it some bile and bite along the way. The movie's loose and feisty tone keeps the formulaic elements from feeling stale or stock. Soul Men
doesn't break any new ground, but it's pleasantly entertaining. Also featuring eclectic appearances by soul music legend Isaac Hayes (both he and Mac died before the movie came out), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace
), Ken Davitian (Borat
), Jennifer Coolidge (Legally Blonde
), and porn legend Vanessa del Rio. --Bret Fetzer