Barbershop: The Next Cut Review
With all due respect to rapper Yo Gotti, it doesn’t go down in the DM. Nope, Direct-Messaging is the last place that gets it popping. I mean, it’s cool to have illicit, private conversations about setting up a secret rendezvous, but chances are you and your undercover lover are already being talked about at that the spot where it REALLY goes down – the BS. The BS has exposed confidential couples and played match-maker to singles all in the same day. The BS has given out more advice than Steve Harvey and more information than Google. Look on any gossip website if you want, but if the BS ain’t discussing it, it’s not as hot as you think. Exactly what is the BS? If you have follicles, you’ve been there before. The BS is none other than…the Barber Shop/Beauty Salon. These two places have been spilling the tea since Samson had hair (and the topic of discussion was probably Delilah)! The BS isn’t only a place that dishes the dirt; it’s a staple in the community. Some of the most creative and intelligent minds can be found getting a shape-up or shampoo. The BS is a club, school, shopping center, and search engine all rolled into one. In the new movie “Barber Shop: The Next Cut”, Ice Cube and his stylists try to leverage the “hallowed ground” status of the BS during a pivotal moment in the neighborhood. Will this movie have you walking out proud like you just received a fresh cut, or will it have you falling asleep like a woman under the dryer? Let’s go!
Hold on to your weaves and toupees, folks, “Barber Shop: The Next Cut” is in theaters. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Best Man, Best Man Holiday, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins), “Barber Shop: The Next Cut” brings Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, and Eve back after a 12-year absence. That’s right, y’all, the last “Barber Shop” film was in 2004 (I think that’s the year my hair stopped growing). A lot has happened in those 12 years. Calvin (Ice Cube) has partnered up with Beauty Salon-owner Angie (Regina Hall) to consolidate their respective shops into one business in an effort to save money. The one place where the men have gone to escape the ladies has now been infiltrated…uh-oh. A co-ed styling facility isn’t the only change. New characters are introduced that are typically found in your average barber/beauty shop like Draya, played by Nicki Minaj, Rashad, played by Common, One-Stop, played by J.B Smoove, and the customer who never goes home, Dante, played by Deon Cole (“Black-ish”). These characters along with a few more keep “Barber Shop” fresh, but it wouldn’t be a “Barber Shop” movie without the elder barber who never bites his tongue…Eddie, played by Cedric the Entertainer – more on him in a moment. What has also changed in those 12 years is the safety of the city. Southside Chicago’s crime rate has gotten worse and the neighborhood is feeling powerless to stop all the violence. Calvin and the crew aren’t trying to succumb to the gang activity so they come up with a plan to try and take back the community. While this may sound too serious for a comedy film, Malcom Lee’s direction gives you just the right amount of drama mixed with comedy along with great chemistry from the cast so nothing is too serious or silly. It’s like a movie-salad; everything tastes great and not one ingredient is overbearing.
Acting-wise, everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – does a fantastic job. Minaj’s portrayal of the sexy yet messy Draya will have you talking directly to the screen. We all know someone like this either as a customer or employee in a beauty shop. She really does a great job, no lie, y’all. I hear you laughing! Ladies, although Mike Ealy is no longer a part of the franchise, the casting department didn’t forget you. Common’s character is a replacement of sorts, and he does his thing on camera although I doubt the women will even remember my assessment while watching him. I swear, you ladies are as bad as us guys! Don’t throw shade while we fellas stare at Nicki, ok? Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention good ol’ Eddie. Ced just loves playing this character and you can tell from his performance. No, he hasn’t toned down one bit. All of the characters are funny, provocative, and interesting. Every one of them has a story to tell. Even when the plot is on cruise control, the banter between the crew is exactly like what you’d see in a normal barbershop or beauty salon. I will say that Anthony Anderson’s character now compared to the first movie is out of place. If you can remember what he did as opposed to how he is now makes no sense. That’s a major flaw and I guess they thought the audience would forget since much time has passed…well, I didn’t! Also, the climax in the 3rd act is possible, but not plausible. A more dramatic scene should’ve occurred but, it suffices. Those two drawbacks aside, “Barber Shop: The Next Cut” is a great movie. Walk-ins are welcome!
Normally when a sequel is made after a 12-year hiatus, it spells L-A-M-E. Luckily, the director and cast make us forget about such a time lapse with interesting storylines and undeniable chemistry. In light of all the violence Chicago has seen, this narrative is as necessary as it is thoroughly entertaining. This movie doesn’t make light of the destruction and death but it doesn’t beat the audience over the head with preachy solutions, either. “Barber Shop: The Next Cut” is basically a film about you, me, and the place where we go to be ourselves and talk politics and bullshyt…the barber shop. I’m co-signing this film to the fullest! Take the kids if you want because it concerns them. There’s something for everybody, just like the dude that comes in with the bootleg DVD’s, incense, fish sandwiches, etc. It goes down in the BS (it go down) it goes down in the BS…
Have you seen the film or do you plan to check it out?
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