Barbershop: The Next Cut Movie Review
Barbershop lives matter. After ten years, Ice Cube and the rest of the crew from Barbershop is back for Barbershop: The Next Cut, an accessible, entertaining and lighthearted commentary on race relations and gang violence.
I don’t remember a lot about the original Barbers hop, other than that it was a “smartly crafted, well-acted, and constantly funny” (according to my review). I also had forgotten that there was a Barbershop 2, which was so terrible I clearly wiped it from my memory (but not FilmJabber.com). So I went into Barbershop: The Next Cut with mixed expectations, hoping for a comedy about a bunch of barbers and hair stylists bantering back and forth, fearing a comedy that is painfully unfunny.
Barbershop: The Next Cut starts off roughly, with the banter consisting largely of the crew (Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Common, J.B. Smoove, Nicki Minaj and several others) throwing cheap jokes at one another and dropping forced lines about black lives matter and Trayvon Martin. The first half hour, while not dreadful, isn’t very funny.
And really, the movie isn’t very funny (I mean, it stars Cedric the Entertainer, so how funny could it be?). That doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
As the film progresses, it evolves into something more than a lighthearted comedy: it becomes a commentary on race and violence that people of all ethnicities will appreciate. Starring an almost all-black cast, the movie is clearly aimed at black audiences (I’m white), but the actors have earnest and honest discussions about all kinds of things that are relevant today. But Barbershop: The Next Cut isn’t an us-versus-them rant (not that I was expecting that); it’s a movie that has respected black actors talking about the issues that are top of mind in the country, especially among minorities, and proposing solutions that demand action by all parties—not just police, or the government, or white people, or whatever. It resonated with me and it surely will speak to its target audience.
Barbershop: The Next Cut isn’t perfect—it starts off slow, could have trimmed 10 minutes and isn’t all that funny—but it’s a movie for the times we live in.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.