Ever since 2013’s Anchorman 2, we’ve been getting a lot of revivals of older properties, and most of them are shit.
Zoolander No. 2: Shit
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2: Shit
Jurassic World: Not shit on the same level as the two mentioned above, but a fart that’s been trapped in a hot car for a few hours, nonetheless.
Fuller House: Dysentery
Barbershop: The Next Cut, the third Barbershop movie after 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back in Business, is not shit. It’s not busting down any filmmaking barriers. It’s not taking the long-delayed sequel crown from Mad Max: Fury Road and The Force Awakens. (It’s a two-person crown. Shut up.) But. Y’know. It’s pretty good.
Ice Cube stars as barbershop co-owner Calvin, whose day-to-day struggles include dealing with his teenage son’s rebellious stage, deciding whether to let an increase in gang violence drive his shop out of Chicago’s South Side, and avoiding the impulse to melt into a puddle of envy in self-doubt every time he remembers how handsome his best friend Common is.
OK, that last one’s not true.
But Common is incredibly handsome.
(And yes, he does breakdance.)
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee and co-written by Tracy Oliver and black-ish creator Kenya Barris, The Next Cut also boasts performances from Regina Hall, J.B. Smoove, Nicki Minaj (in her second live-action movie, after 2014’s The Other Woman. She does fine.), black-ish’s Anthony Anderson, Eve, Pitch Perfect’s Utkarsh Ambudkar, Boardwalk Empire’s Margot Bingham, Cedric the Entertainer, Conan writer Deon Cole, and that guy everyone likes from that show I don’t watch. The cake gif guy.
Yeah, that’s the one. He’s really good. I might start The New Girl now*.
*I am probably not going to start The New Girl now.
There’s a lot of talent involved, and you’re basically watching them shoot the shit and crack jokes for two hours. It’s fun, if not something you necessarily need to pay $15 to see on the big screen. There’s serious stuff, too; Terri (Eve) thinks Draya (Minaj) is trying to steal her husband (Common). Calvin’s son (Michael Rainey Jr.) is being courted by a local gang. The heaviest stuff involves Calvin organizing a two-day ceasefire, with the barbershop as a neutral zone where members of the South Side’s rival gangs are encouraged to come together and experience how great it is to not get shot all the time. It’s like a PG-13, dad version of Chi-Raq. The message, if a little preachy and a little schmaltzy, is also worthy and well-meant.