Well Ice Cube would be damned if he didn’t revisit his little barbershop on the South Side of Chicago within two terms of the presidency of a black man who is actually from the South Side of Chicago. But with only months left on Obama’s eight years, Cube and director Malcolm D. Lee have abided. And POTUS makes his almost too real fictional appearance.
There could easily be half a dozen of these movies since 2008, and the scripts would have written themselves as well. A lot of credit has to go to everyone behind this franchise for resisting the temptation to turn it into a box office factory for purposes of milking everything it’s worth during the Obama era. They bid their time and have come out with a worthy third installment that is as good, if not better, than the first two.
10 years since our last appointment at Calvin’s Barbershop, Calvin (Ice Cube) and his longtime crew, including Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), are still there and have been joined by Rashad (Common) and Jerrod (New Girl’s Lamorne Morris). But the once male-dominated hideaway is now co-ed, sharing space with a beauty parlor (set up by Regina Hall). The ladies (including newcomers Nicki Minaj and Boardwalk Empire’s Margot Bingham) add a battle of the sexes dynamic to the shop countering and challenging the guys.
The good vibes inside the shop however do not reflect the real situation outside of its doors. The surrounding community has taken a turn for the worse, with gang-related murders taking their toll. The situation forces Calvin to take a stand, fight for the community he grew up in and loves so much or flee for the safety of his young family to the guarded North Side.
This is not a perfect movie by any means. The script at multiple times gets entangled in its own plot. However it did turn out to be hearty and incredibly satisfying.
For the skeptic going into The Next Cut with a seed of doubt, prepare for some surprises. Like how the ensemble cast of the franchise regulars and newbies blend well, and how good Minaj’s performance holds up against seasoned actors. She would be the breakout star of this movie if it weren’t for the show-stealing Lamorne Morris. I cannot say enough about his quirky and absolutely funny performance.
There’s also some raunchy sex talk that will leave the male audiences wondering whether that is how women really speak in beauty salons. No really, ladies is this true? I also would like to know.
The biggest surprise of all (at least for me) is a professionally executed cameo by an NBA star that will wipe away the horror show Lebron James put up in Trainwreck.
Go see Barbershop: The Next Cut. You will feel, you will be morally questioned, you will learn. Most of all, you will laugh your ass off.