“Soul Men” is a film that will have individuals laughing until the end, and really makes viewers appreciate and miss both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.
Bernie Mac plays one half of the Real Deal, a Pips-like backup duo for a charming lead singer, portrayed by singer John Legend, who eventually left his former partners out to dry. The beginning of the movie shows Mac’s character, Floyd, being moved out to the suburbs by his nephew, who also happens to be his manager, while Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Louis, spends his life in a rundown apartment working in a garage after being released from prison.
When their former lead singer dies, VH1 announces a tribute concert to be held at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Floyd, who would do anything to get the group back together, wants to do it but he knows that he will have to talk Louis into it. It seems easy enough but the two characters have some issues to deal with before everything can run smoothly.
After lying to Louis in order to persuade him to perform at the tribute in New York, the two characters take a cross-country road trip in order to get there. The incidents, situations, and arguments that occur on this road trip get funnier as the movie goes along. Incidents range from performing shows at hotels along the way, finding out one of them may have a daughter by the woman they both loved and argued over, domestic violence issues, and being arrested and having to break out of jail.
At the end of the movie they end up in New York, with the cops looking to arrest them and take them to jail. In a funny and unexpected way, the Real Deal is united on stage at the Apollo, all three of them.
Besides Mac, Jackson and Isaac Hayes, who takes a supporting role as himself, the movie features Sharon Leal, who was also seen in “This Christmas,” and Affion Crockett who appeared on the MTV’s “Wild N Out.” Leal plays the daughter of the woman that both men fell in love with, and Crockett plays her hip-hop wannabe, drug dealing, and abusive boyfriend.
The end credits are devoted to Bernie Mac, complete with interview footage about his career, along with an additional tribute to Isaac Hayes.
Mac died on August 9 due to pneumonia at the age of 50. Hayes, famously known for writing the theme to Shaft, died the next day as a result of a stroke.
Overall, “Soul Men” was a great movie. It was not one of those movies where they show all the funny scenes in the advertisements and then when audiences see it they are disappointed. It is a film that is definitely worth the time and money.