Soul Men



This light comedy comes with unfortunate baggage: the recent deaths of Bernie Mac, one of its leads, and Isaac Hayes, who makes a cameo. And though it's bound to be a mere footnote in each performer's distinguished career, Soul Men ain't a bad way for either to go out, fondly satirizing the soul music Hayes embodied with one of Mac's better screen performances. And in Samuel L. Jackson, Mac has a perfectly matched co-star, someone with an equally intense glare, a commanding voice and a gift for delivering profanity as poetry.

As an estranged and embittered R&B duo back on the road for one last hurrah, each performer is allowed to unleash the full power of his comedic fury, and in the flick's funniest moments, director Malcolm D. Lee simply steps back and lets the expletives fly. Unfortunately, just as often, Lee's limp pacing and clumsily deployed supporting cast only get in the way. And when the story comes to an end, with a climactic performance by the reunited group as the cops close in on them, Soul Men seems to be daring you, almost encouraging you, to dismiss it as merely a cheap Blues Brothers knockoff.

Al Shipley writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.