When a franchise reaches its third iteration in the series, it more often than not isn't very good. Taking a franchise that hasn't had a sequel in ten years and bringing it back to the masses seems like a terrible idea, especially when no one was really asking for it. That however is what Ice Cube and crew have decided to do with Barbershop: The Next Cut. Is it any good? Stay tuned to find out.
Its been ten years since the last time we saw Calvin (Ice Cube) and crew in his Chicago based barbershop. Things have changed however since Eddie has taken on a business partner in Angie (Regina Hall) and now it is a barbershop and a hair salon. The combination of the sexes makes for a very funny dynamic. The conversations range from why men cheat to why black women wear weaves. Not only do we get the male vs. female perspective we also get generational conversation as the old spar with the new. Speaking of new, look, I have a bit of a thing for Nicki Minaj and she fit right in with this movie as the “vixen” Draya. Jerrod (Lamorne Morris), Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar) Bree (Margot Bingham) round out the new blood in the shop.
Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) is still in the shop with his same in your face humor but they didn't stop with him, One Stop (J.B. Smoove) and Dante (Deon Cole) round out the cast of comedians. All three will have you laughing out loud in the theater. I can't imagine that a lot of there dialog wasn't improvised. I cannot remember the last time I laughed this much in the movie theater. It's genuinely funny throughout.
Aside from the shops shenanigans, with this taking place in Chicago there is a more serious side to the movie. The southside of Chicago is basically ground zero for gang violence and the movie tackles that head on. With the body count increasing day by day The folks at the shop feel like they need to do something. They plan a 48 hour cease fire between rival gangs for free haircuts. Add the subplot about Calvin and his son Jalen dealing with the violence and another about infidelity between Rashad (Common), Draya, and Terri (Eve) and you've got a lot going on. It would seem almost too much to handle if it weren't for the very competent directing by Malcolm Lee and the incredibly solid script written by Kenya Barris (who writes for Black-ish) and Tracy Oliver. The entire thing just works.
While the acting isn't the greatest, and the story is cliched and predictable. The great script and the dare I say masterful balance of comedy and drama make for a highly entertaining film going experience. I really, really enjoyed this movie more then I thought I would. I would recommend everyone goes to see it, as I think its the best in the franchise.
[easyreview title= "Review of Barbershop: The Next Cut" cat1title="Terrence's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="4.0" overall= false]