Soul Men may be the first movie ever released in which two featured players died after filming ended and before the movie hit thescreens. Virtually each review mentions The Missing two souls, Bernie Mac,in a lead role, and Isaac Hayes, in a smaller role, and praises their pastcontributions to the popular culture. Mick LaSalle in the San FranciscoChronicle remarks that the two deaths cast a pall over the movie. "Tryto watch it as a movie, and you may find yourself seeing it more as aprecious artifact of a sadly truncated career. Mac was a good comedian and afine comic actor, who was improving and deepening every year." Noting thatin his previous big-budget movies, Mac had been required to curb his tongue,A.O. Scott in the New York Times , comments, that Soul Men "not only allows him room to explore the nuances and inflections ofprofanity, but it also pairs him with Samuel L. Jackson ..., certainly noslouch when it comes to wringing poetry out of the blue Anglo-Saxonlinguistic heritage. To say that the chief pleasure of Soul Men iswatching these two men swear at each other is in no way to sell it short."You can easily imagine Roger Ebert choking up as he began writing his reviewfor the Chicago Sun-Times " Soul Men is the one that's reallygoing to make you miss Bernie Mac. He's so filled with life and energy herethat it's hard to believe ... well, anyway. It will make you miss him." Onthe other hand, Bob Strauss begins his review in the Los Angeles DailyNews this way "It grieves me to report that Bernie Mac's posthumousmovie release, Soul Men, hardly does the great comedian justice. It'spoorly plotted even by the low standards of road-trip comedies and vulgar inways that try patience far more often than they inspire laughs."

07/11/2008