Ice Cube is back with the “Barbershop” crew and this time he went out of his way to add some depth and drama into the mix of comedy.
The film picks up with Ice Cube’s character Calvin, who is now successfully running his barbershop in Chicago with his business partner Angie (Regina Hall). For the most part, life for the crew is good, although, they begin to notice the increase in gang-related violence plaguing the streets.
In response, Calvin and the barbershop workers decide to try and call a truce between local gangs and give out free haircuts for a weekend to help promote peace on the streets.
First and foremost, “Barbershop: The Next Cut” plays out as a comedy. The characters all have their own quirks and most of the runtime is dedicated to having these personalities interact with each other throughout the work day at the shop for humor. In those regards, the movie is a little hit or miss.
There are plenty of jokes that do hit their mark and they provide some solid laughs. However, there are also plenty of jokes and gags that seem a little forced.
Where the movie actually hits its stride is in the dramatic department. Every bit of it is played out with a lot of heart, making the situations portrayed feel even more relatable to an audience. While predictable, the film’s moments of dealing with gang violence are compelling and engaging.
In terms of acting, Ice Cube was on point. The guy has already portrayed the character before and it showed as he seemed very accustomed in the role. The same can be said about Cedric the Entertainer who played Eddie, the movie’s main comic relief.
Other performers deserving credit are Common as the character Rashad and Hall as Calvin’s business partner, Angie. Even Nicki Minaj, who hasn’t had the best track record in film before, made the most of her role here and was actually OK.
“Barbershop: The Next Cut” isn’t a groundbreaking drama or one of the best comedies out there. However, there was a ton of passion behind this project and that energy transcends to the viewer for a positive experience. 3 out of 5.