It’s time to head back to Calvin’s for a fresh-cut and hilarious banter in BarberShop: The Next Cut. Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve and Anthony Anderson return along with newcomers to the franchise Common, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall, J.B. Smoove, Margot Bingham and Lamorne Morris.
It’s been 10 plus years since we last visited the iconic barbershop located on the South Side of Chicago. The once male dominated sanctuary is now a unisex salon headed by Angie (Regina Hall) who is Calvin’s business partner. Calvin’s motley crew of barbers consist of old man Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), Rashad (Common), Jerrod (Lamorne Morris), Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar), Terri (Eve) and man of many occupations One-Stop (JB Smoove).
Angie leads of a group of feisty hair technicians, Draya (Nicki Minaj), and Bree (Margot Bingham). The new dynamic in the shop makes for some interesting banter between the opposite sexes as they comically debate topics such as Obama, Instagram Ho’s, and today’s vernacular such as term “on fleek” which Eddie makes light of.
Things also do get serious in the Malcolm D.Lee directed film when the topics of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and other recent issues affecting black communities are brought up. Calvin’s is now in the safe-haven of the neighborhood thanks to a new political measure introduced and backed by former Barber now politician Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas) to help counteract all of the gang violence going on in the neighborhood. Jimmy’s idea isn’t met with the acceptance he would like leading to the barbers coming up with the idea to for the barbershop to become a safe-zone for 48hrs initiating a truce between rival gangs. Anyone who visits the shop during that time gets free haircuts or their hair did. Jerrod gets a hashtag going on Twitter to help spread the word about the ceasefire and helps get things in motion.
The main story in the film revolves around Calvin and his son Jalen (Michael Rainy Jr.) and Calvin doing whatever it takes to keep his son out of trouble. Jalen becomes friends with Kenny who is the son Rashad and the two get involved with a local gang ran by Yummy (Tyga) don’t ask us why a gang leader’s name is Yummy. Calvin and his wife can’t believe their son’s recent behavior is of his own accord after Jalen gets in trouble at school. Calvin immediately feels that Jalen’s behavior is the direct result of hanging out with Kenny who is a known troublemaker and recently moved in with his dad Rashad and step-mom Terri. Calvin’s accusations lead to a rift between him and Rashad, Calvin fearing for his son’s life decides to look for a shop in a safer neighborhood leaving the rest of his employees to figure it out for themselves.
Rashad is also dealing with some family issues as well. Terri is now a celebrity stylist and her work keeps her very busy and keeps her from being home with Rashad.
The tension between the two is noticed by Draya who looks step in and make things interesting for Rashad. This sets up an interesting dynamic between the two leading ladies of hip-hop in the film.
Thanks to writers Kenya Barrish (black-ish) and Tracy Oliver, The Next Cut perfectly blends laugh out loud moments with serious tones. We do wish Nicki’s character was bit more stronger but she does make the most of her screen-time when she gets it. Regina Hall does a masterful job as Calvin’s business partner and shines when things get serious in the film. Common and Cube work well together in the film and of course Cedric shines as Eddie supplying much of the films comic relief.
Barbershop: The Next Cut is the perfect film for the family to go see as a whole or great option for date night.
Barbershop: The Next Cut is in theaters now!
3 out 4