I tend to be pickier than usual when it comes to comedy. I have a particular sense of humor and I find it harder in that genre to find films that really connect with me. I do love the odd silly movie, but I tend to gravitate more towards films from people like The Coen Brothers, Rob Reiner, Judd Apatow, and Wes Anderson. I particularly ensemble movies as well, whether it be family ensembles like The Family Stone or ridiculous like Wet Hot American Summer. I like characters that stick with me, feel familiar and feel like visiting old friends. One series that has done that particularly well are the Barbershop films. After two movies in the early 2000s it returns after 12 years with a new film, Barbershop The Next Cut.
Calvin (Ice Cube) is still at it, running his barbershop, now co-owned and merged with the ladies salon, but their neighborhood isn’t doing as well. Violence in the streets is making the community fall apart and even threatens to pull in Calvin’s son Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr.). So now Calvin, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), Angie (Regina Hall) and the rest of the gang plan a charity weekend of free haircuts and a cease fire in the streets to try and fight for their home.
Barbershop The Next Cut is great fun. After 12 years it doesn’t seem like the cast has been gone long at all. Watching Ice Cube and the cast back at Calvin’s is truly like reconnecting with old friends and none of them have lost a beat. And while Barbershop 2: Back in Business was funny, it kind of lost the heart of the first film, the sense of camaraderie between the cast members and went for straight up laughs. But Barbershop The Next Cut goes back to basics and really is about something. Family, community, parenthood, love and societal issues all come back into the fold. And this cast is comedy gold. Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Anthony Anderson, J.B. Smoove, Common, Nicki Minaj, and Utkarsh Ambudkar among others really create great unforgettable characters that just feel right together. And I have to mention I would watch 2 solid hours of Cedric the Entertainer playing Eddie on his own. That is one classic character. Barbershop The Next Cut a damn funny film with a great message. And I will always take that over laughs alone.