Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)
Directed by: Malcom D. Lee
Written by: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver
Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, Anthony Anderson, Eve, Nicki Minja, Common, Regina Hall
[vsw id=”BkbIzCWcQjY” source=”youtube” width=”19″ height=”9″ autoplay=”no”]
Probably one of the most unexpected highlights of this movie is how it was able to be a comedy taking on the serious issue of gun violence. In a sense, the movie made the city of Chicago a living and breathing character in itself. It didn’t simply treat the city of Chicago as just a random urban setting where people happen to get their hair cut. Instead, the film does a great job of tackling various issues through its characters. The film doesn’t hold back on addressing the good and bad aspects of Chicago ranging from the gangs, neighborhood communities, or even the educational system.
Ice Cube (“Calvin”) and Jazsmin Lewis (“Jennifer”) both portrayed the day to day struggle of parents trying to fight for the love and admiration of their children. What was interesting about this portrayal was that it didn’t simply rest with a parent settling with telling their child all of the generic “parenting lectures” that we would get from a day-time television show like Family Matters. Rather, we were shown the, often times troubling, challenge of parents trying to prove to their children that their love is far greater than the attention gangs appears to provide.
Of course, the film has many comedic moments that will be sure to have you laughing; especially if you catch some of the jokes that are said under the character’s breath. The jokes also serve to provide some social commentary on various issues from President Obama to even the battle of the sexes. What I particularly appreciated was how this movie attempted to demonstrate a practical solution to the issue of gun violence. (It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but it was far more realistic than…let’s say…a sex strike.)
The wide variety of the cast was a great element to help the comedy. From Deon Cole’s random side comments to Lamorne Morris’ awkward humor to the old-school comedic performance of Cedrick the Entertainer; you can rest assured that you’ll get some laughs from all sides.
Given the fact that I’m a HAPPILY married man, I’m just going to say that Nicki Minaj’s scenes were …. umm…”entertaining”. *Pssst* (Fellas, guys go see it. Thank me later.)
I think that one of the weaker parts of the film was with a very dramatic/serious situation happens. Not only is it predictable, but I think that it could have been a lot better. Obviously, I won’t go into detail about the scene, however, I think that when you see it you’ll know what I’m referring to. What I will say is that the way the situation plays out seems incredibly unrealistic, especially given the way the movie raises the level of suspense and tension during that one scene. I just think that the way it played out, there was a missed opportunity to make this film be a little more authentic and real.
As a Chicagoan, I’m going to be biased about this film regardless. As some of you may recall, I had an interesting and controversial review of Chi-Raq not too long ago. What I will say about Barbershop 3 is that it manages to accomplish something that Chi-Raq was unable to do. It was able to speak directly to the issues related to the Chicago violence that people who are affected by the violence can readily understand. Barbershop 3 respected and showed nothing but love to the city of Chicago while still addressing a very sensitive topic. This is what Chi-Raq should have been. This is what Chicagoans were hoping and expecting to see if a movie tried to tell their tale. It’s not overly political, nor will it having you in tears. What this movie will do, I think, is give you a small sense of hope, encouragement, and laughter while still reflecting on the serious gravity of the tragic situation that plagues the city of Chicago. I don’t believe that people will be disappointed with this film, and it’s well worth the watch.