By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B+ (3 stars)
WARNER BROS. PICTURES, NEW LINE CINEMA, AND MGM
Who would have thought a follow-up to the 2002 comedy hit, Barbershop and its 2004 sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business could be possible several years later and still manage to be heartfelt and funny. When I first saw the trailer for this, I thought to myself “Boy, Hollywood is out of ideas, a third Barbershop movie being made over ten years since the last one? Come on, give me a break!” But with the film opening with a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score, I was completely surprised and decided to go see it.
And... it’s good, not great, but I liked it, thought it was funny and it was great to see the characters I loved from the earlier films back together. But it’s been a while since I last watched Barbershop or Barbershop 2: Back in Business, so I wasn’t able to do a comparison.
The film manages to be funny, heartfelt, and dramatic when necessary and makes time to develop its already likable characters. About the same as what I thought of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and 22 Jump Street in terms of comedy sequels, and that’s not at all a bad thing.
Ice Cube (Boyz N The Hood, Friday, Jump Street franchise) returns as Calvin, the manager of the barbershop his father handed down to him some time ago, along with his crew of colorfully wacky co-workers, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer-Madagascar franchise, Cadillac Records, Top Five), Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas-Courage Under Fire, A Raisin in the Sun, Cruel Intentions), Angie (Regina Hall-Ally McBeal, Malibu’s Most Wanted, Think Like A Man 1 and 2), J.D. (Anthony Anderson-Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Transformers), Rashad (Common-Date Night, Now You See Me, Selma), Terri (Eve-Saturday Night Live, Eve, xXx), Draya (Nicki Minaj-Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Other Woman), and One Stop (J.B. Smoove-Mr. Deeds, The Dictator, Curb Your Enthusiasm). After Calvin’s son is beaten at school, he and his barbershop crew decide to set up a Ceasefire for one weekend and give haircuts for free in hopes of bringing peace to their once beautiful neighborhood.
The streets in their Chicago neighborhood are filled to the brim with gang violence, killings, and crime, not to mention Calvin’s son is participating in some gang related activities, so with the help of his friends, Calvin will do whatever it takes to do what’s right for his son and his neighborhood before sh*t goes down.
Overall, Barbershop: The Next Cut is a surprisingly decent sequel, especially for a sequel to a comedy that was made back in 2002, usually sequels made over ten years since its predecessors bomb exponentially (Son of the Mask, Dumb and Dumber To, Zoolander 2), but once in a while they’ll get lucky with a sequel to a movie made over ten years ago (Anchorman 2, 22 Jump Street, Mad Max: Fury Road).
I don’t think the film is as great as what the reviews made it out to be, but it’s not even close to being considered bad and unnecessary. The film brings the likable cast of characters from the previous two films back and still have plenty of witty and humorous writing to boot, not to mention enough time spent on heartfelt moments and drama.
What makes the film enjoyable no matter what are the characters, Ice Cube is always engaging to watch no matter what he’s in, even in those lousy family films, he’s usually good in them, Cedric the Entertainer is pretty funny, Anthony Anderson is hilarious, and the plot itself tackles similar situations as Ice Cube’s Friday movies in very humorous ways.
Do I consider it to be one of my all-time favorite Ice Cube movies? Not exactly, I still prefer Boyz N The Hood, Friday, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and Straight Outta Compton (Yeah, I know he didn’t star in it himself, but still!), but it’s certainly a better sequel to an Ice Cube movie than Ride Along 2. For what the film is, I thought it was very amusing and a satisfying third outing to the Barbershop.