REVIEW: Barbershop – The Next Cut (2016)

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2016, Metro Goldwyn Mayer/New Line Cinema/State Street Pictures/Cube Vision

Director:
Malcolm D. Lee
Producers:
Robert Teitel
George Tillman Jr.
Ice Cube
Writers:
Mark Brown (original characters)
Kenya Barris (screenplay)
Tracy Oliver (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Greg Gardiner
Editing:
Paul Millspaugh

Cast:
Ice Cube (Calvin)
Cedric the Entertainer (Eddie)
Regina Hall (Angie)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Jimmy)
Eve (Terri)
Anthony Anderson (J.D.)
Jaszmin Lewis (Jennifer)
J.B. Smooth (One-Stop)
Common (Rashad)
Nicki Minaj (Draya)
Lamorne Morris (Jerrod)
Utkarsh Ambudkar (Raja)
Margot Bingham (Bree)
Deon Cole (Dante)
Michael Rainey Jr. (Jalen)
Diallo Thompson (Kenny)

The gang is back and this time around, they attempt to bring peace to the violent streets of Chicago in this very dramatic…yet very funny threequel.

Calvin’s barbershop in the south side of Chicago has undergone a drastic change. Due to the recession, he makes an offer to join forces with local beauty shop Angie and two have a combined business that meshes the barbershop and the beauty shop. He even brings in part-time hustler One-Stop to do some of his “business” there. However, the recession is nothing compared to what has been major causing trouble in the Windy City.

Violence between gangs have reached an all-time high. To make matters worse, Calvin becomes worried when he learns that his son Jalen, may have fallen in with the wrong crowd no thanks to Kenny, the son of fellow barber Rashad. This causes conflict between the two barbers, but despite that, the workers of the barbershop decide they must find a way to take the streets back in a peaceful manner. What will that plan be and will they succeed?

It has been over ten years since we last saw Calvin and the gang at the barbershop but once again, the workplace humor that helped drive the previous films has practically doubled due to the inclusion of the beauty shop having half the space due to the recession. Some may find this a sigh of relief as with the previous two films, Eve being the only female barber may have been an issue. However, what we have in this film is a battle of the sexes that is actually quite hilarious with topics of glamorization, race, and even romance are brought up in the film.

Once again, leave it Cedric the Entertainer’s Eddie to once again provide a lot of laughs, but this time he’s not alone. Lamorne Morris and Deon Cole are perhaps the breakouts of the film in terms of the film’s comic relief as the very excited and opinionated Jerrod and the “squatter” Dante. While Troy Garrity makes only a cameo appearance in the beginning, Utkarsh Ambudkar’s Raja not only provides a little diversity, but acts as an ample complement to Jerrod. While Regina Hall’s Angie takes lead of the beauty shop, her co-workers, play by pop star Nicki Minaj and Margot Bingham are definitely opposites with a small subplot involves Minaj’s Draya attempting to make play with Common’s Rashad, who has married Eve’s Terri and if you know Terri from the previous films, you know how she is going to feel. Even Anthony Anderson returns from the first film playing former troublemaker J.D., who now runs a food truck and somehow…yes, still cause trouble but not how one would expect.

However, aside from the humor of the film, the film does tackle a very serious issue that plagues Chicago and other cities: gang violence. The film provides little spurts of actual news footage about victims being killed as a result of gang violence. Add to the mix the angst of Calvin’s now teenage son Jalen, played by Michael Rainey Jr., having falling in with the wrong crowd and he lays blame to Rashad’s son, who has moved to live with his father after being expelled from school. Another pop star, Tyga, plays the gang leader who wants to bring Jalen and Kenny into the mix. Yes, there is the comic relief, but the dramatic scenes also work here as a very vital complement to the humor that drives the film. While Calvin’s issues with the shop were the first two films, this third film goes way beyond that and it works.

If you liked the original and its sequel, you are most likely going to enjoy Barbershop: The Next Cut, not only for its comedy, but its look at a very serious issue and what could possibly be done to settle things for peace.

WFG RATING: A-

This film is currently playing in theaters. Check your local theater for showtimes.

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