Release Date: Nov. 7
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone
Cinematographer: Matthew F. Leonetti
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes
Dimension Films/MGM, 103 mins.
Despite final performance from Hayes, not enough soul in this buddy film
Call it the Dark Knight effect, wherein the specter of death draws an audience to view its late stars one last time. Alas, the posthumous appearances of Black Moses and an Original King of Comedy (whose last film, Old Dogs, is slated for a 2009 release)—Samuel L. Jackson, still living, hasn’t yet attained royal status—are the lone highlights of this buddy pic. After the lead singer (John Legend) of a successful soul trio expires, back-up singers Jackson and Mac begrudgingly bury the hatchet so as to have one last performance at the Apollo Theatre. It’s a good enough excuse to dust off an Eldorado convertible for a cross-country journey and repackage the sterling Stax catalog into a handy soundtrack. But past that, the stilted slapstick of two unfunny gun sequences, woeful boner jokes, laughless sexual encounters with older women—not to mention outright derision of hip-hop—are unfitting send-offs for both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.