Soul Men, Bernie Mac, Samuel L. Jackson

Doug Hyun/Dimension Films

Review in a Hurry: Grumpy old men take a road trip; you might wanna take the next exit. Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson star as washed-up singing legends who reunite for a final concert. Hey, if you're a fan of tedious bickering and tired Viagra gags, enjoy the ride.

The Bigger Picture: Admittedly, it's tough to laugh at late comedian Mac, as former soul man Floyd Henderson, cracking jokes about heart attacks and suicide. Not that this plotted-on-a-map buddy movie would've yielded many yuks anyway.

After the death of their group's leader, wealthy-but-bored Floyd convinces estranged partner Louis Hinds (Jackson), now a penniless ex-con, to perform at a tribute gig at the Apollo Theater in New York. Of course Louis refuses to fly, so the odd couple have to drive together cross-country.

Before the rubber even hits the highway, you can chart the turns and final destination. This bumpy road trip—akin to being stuck in a family vacay from hell—subjects you to relentless arguing, smacking and name-calling. Just try to count the number of times "motherf——r" is screamed.

Then there are the limp jokes about erections (or lack thereof), prostate exams, fat women—and the odd comic detours, including a cringe-inducing sex scene with a toothless Jennifer Coolidge. Eek.

Fortunately, Soul comes to life during its musical sequences, from the opening montage of their decades-long career to the duo's climactic Apollo appearance. Mac and Jackson clearly have such a blast singing and dancing you can't help but feel their groove. The rest of the movie should have jived as well.

The 180—a Second Opinion: You'll sing the blues after watching the final credit sequence, which features a touching tribute to Mac and soul icon Isaac Hayes, who plays himself in the film.

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