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Cinemavenger

   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.


Soul


It should come as less of a surprise than Trump inciting deadly riots at Congress because he's a little bitch who can't accept that he lost the fucking election that ol' Cinemavenger supports Black Lives Matter. So, leave the tar in the tar pot and the feathers in your pillows when I say that the only reason Soul has a 96% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes is because it features an African American protagonist and focuses on African American culture.


Replace Jamie "Redd" Foxx's middle school band teacher, Joe, with a white guy, the jazz Joe loves with country music, Joe's sassy mother ("Bye" Phylicia Rashad) with one of the Golden Girls, and the neighborhood barber shop Joe visits with a Great Clips, and Soul would have a 50% RT rating. At fucking best.


Joe's dream has always been to make it as a jazz pianist (with a 12-inch jazz penis), and when he finally gets his big break he's so dizzy with excitement that he falls into an open manhole and dies. He's so fixated on his lost opportunity that he goes tumbling down the stairway to heaven and ends up in the Great Before, the place where souls exist prior to heading down to Earth to settle into a meat-covered bone mech for 70 years or so.


There he meets 22 (Tina "Tinuh! Tine!" Fey), a soul with no interest in ever being tied to an existence full of Taco Bell shits, bikini waxes, and online dating. The two of them end up down (or up?) on Earth in borrowed bodies so that - no spoiler here . . . this is a fucking Disney/Pixar movie, after all - 22 can realize that maybe living ain't so bad, and Joe can get a second chance at happiness.


How 22's and Joe's stories end is a huge part of why Soul's RT rating is as well-deserved as the Medals of Freedom that Scrooge McTrump has been giving away like they were Halloween candy. I won't spoil their endings, but while they're supposed to make you cry like a baby they have as much emotional impact as a tanning salon commercial.


Soul wants to be an inside-out Inside Out, it's even got the same writer-director,  but where the voices in our heads really did tug at the heartstrings, the disembodied souls outside our bodies barely tickle the emotional ivories.


January 8, 2021