Barbershop: The Next Cut

April 20, 2016
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Barbershop’s 3rd installment (no, Beauty Shop doesn’t count) was a film I went in to see with moderate to low expectations, and I’m finding more and more that that is the best approach.  Movies get to surprise you when you go in with that mindset.  This one certainly did exactly that.  I found it to be nearly on par with the original.  Not quite, it certainly has some flaws, but you’re in for a good time.  The strength of the Barbershop franchise though, is its use of comedy to open dialogue on tough topics but present them with humor, yet watch carefully and you’ll see the subject matter gradually goes deeper and deeper, easing you into tougher subjects and then hit you with that hammer called the feels.

Topically, the movie was well on point with the situation of mass gang violence and killings ripping the city of Chicago apart in the black community especially Southside.  A much better job is done tackling that topic than the Shakespearian stab that Spike Lee took at it with Chiraq.  The reason Barbershop 2 just didn’t work as well as 1 was a lack of motivation.  Bringing in the real life happenings propels a by the numbers comedy to a much higher quality.  The story is well presented, the message gets across but you still get the entertainment from some strong comedic performances.  There’s a lot of young dying going on and changing it is a seemingly impossible task.

3 Standouts from the cast:

Cedric the Entertainer’s reprisal role as Eddie deserves an Oscar. That’s something I’ve thought since the original and he brings it again.  I may seem way out on a limb here but when a guy can make you gut bust laugh for an hour and a half, then 180 on you for 5 minutes bringing the feels, then 180 on you again back to laughter, thats a genius level performance but the Academy never rewards comedy.  He’s integral in bringing Barbershop 3 a perfect balance of humor and heart.

Nicki Minaj was the surprise of the film for me, but really it shouldn’t be shocking anymore that musically talented people end up being solid actors.  She was not just eye candy…though she was that and thensome.  She wasn’t a detriment at all to the chemistry, she was an absolute benefit.

Lamorne Morris was in full “New Girl” character.  He was playing his television character Winston from New Girl, but going by the name Jerrod and it was just NOT working.  If anything, the characters of Raji and Jerrod should have been combined into JUST Raji and the score I give this movie would be better.  Fortunately, that performance didn’t take away enough to make it a bad movie.  Thankfully this is the only real casting beef I have aside from Michael Ealy unfortunately not showing up at all even in a small cameo to give us some Ricky.

I felt the largest thing wrong with this movie was the lack of risk.  Sure its a risk for a comedy to take a risk, but I think with the subject matter covered here, there was potential for a deeper impact.  I won’t play director and say what I’d have changed in detail, but lets just say, a more significant death, or more significant impact on the main characters was called for and the boat was missed or dodged completely.

What we ended up with was a fun 100 minutes of laughter and topical discussion. I’m happy to report that Ice Cube and director Malcolm D. Lee didn’t cut a patch in our heads with this one. We got a nice clean line up.Barbershop-The-Next-Cut-Cedric-the-Entertainer-Nicki-Minaj-and-Ice-Cube

Barbershop's 3rd installment (no, Beauty Shop doesn't count) was a film I went in to see with moderate to low expectations, and I'm finding more and more that that is the best approach.  Movies get to surprise you when you go in with that mindset.  This one certainly did exactly that.  I found it to be nearly on par with the original.  Not quite, it certainly has some flaws, but you're in for a good time.  The strength of the Barbershop franchise though, is its use of comedy to open dialogue on tough topics but present them with humor, yet watch carefully and you'll see the subject matter gradually goes deeper and deeper, easing you into tougher subjects and then hit you with that hammer called the feels. Topically, the movie was well on point with the situation of mass gang violence and killings ripping the city of Chicago apart in the black community especially Southside.  A much better job is done tackling that topic than the Shakespearian stab that Spike Lee took at it with Chiraq.  The reason Barbershop 2 just didn't work as well as 1 was a lack of motivation.  Bringing in the real life happenings propels a by the numbers comedy to a much higher quality.  The story is well presented, the message gets across but you still get the entertainment from some strong comedic performances.  There's a lot of young dying going on and changing it is a seemingly impossible task. 3 Standouts from the cast: Cedric the Entertainer's reprisal role as Eddie deserves an Oscar. That's something I've thought since the original and he brings it again.  I may seem way out on a limb here but when a guy can make you gut bust laugh for an hour and a half, then 180 on you for 5 minutes bringing the feels, then 180 on you again back to laughter, thats a genius level performance but the Academy never rewards comedy.  He's integral in bringing Barbershop 3 a perfect balance of humor and heart. Nicki Minaj was the surprise of the film for me, but really it shouldn't be shocking anymore that musically talented people end up being solid actors.  She was not just eye candy...though she was that and thensome.  She wasn't a detriment at all to the chemistry, she was an absolute benefit. Lamorne Morris was in full "New Girl" character.  He was playing his television character Winston from New Girl, but going by the name Jerrod and it was just NOT working.  If anything, the characters of Raji and Jerrod should have been combined into JUST Raji and the score I give this movie would be better.  Fortunately, that performance didn't take away enough to make it a bad movie.  Thankfully this is the only real casting beef I have aside from Michael Ealy unfortunately not showing up at all even in a small cameo to give us some Ricky. I felt the largest thing wrong with this movie was the…

8.4

Making the Cut

The heart of the original, possibly just as funny, and some new blood keeps Calvin's Barbershop open for business.

Satisfaction Gauge

8.4

User Rating : 5 ( 1 votes)
8

Devin is a film school graduate, freelance filmmaker and photographer. In his spare time he enjoys writing scripts but has an annoying tendency to never get them finished. Its become more therapeutic then career chasing. He loves cinema. Both small screen and big screen, foreign and domestic, if its good he will support it. If bad he will destroy it. If mediocre he will give it a stern MEH. As a film reviewer, he prefers a personal approach backed by facts and technical observation to create his own voice. He hopes you listen or read and enjoy what you absorb.

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