By Darlene Donloe
Calvin’s Barbershop on the south side of Chicago is still open for business and most of the original players are back at their stations – cutting one head at a time in Barbershop: The Next Cut, in theaters nationwide today.
Back for more antics is Ice Cube, who reprises the role of Calvin, the owner of the barbershop; Cedric the Entertainer who plays the funny, irascible old-timer Eddie; Sean Patrick Thomas (Jimmy) who plays a local politician and Eve, who plays Terri.
The first time we saw this crew was in 2002 and then again in 2004.
Adding to the fun is Regina Hall who plays hair stylist Angie, who now co-owns the shop with Calvin. There is also Common (Rashad), Nicki Minaj (Draya), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Raja) and Lamorne Morris (Jerrod), who all play barbers. J.B. Smoove joins the fun playing a questionable businessman named One-Stop and Michael Rainey joins the cast as Calvin’s son, Jalen.
Although there are new additions to the cast, the funny hasn’t been lost. There are still plenty of one-liners flying free within the shop, especially from Cedric the Entertainer, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lamorne Morris and J.B. Smoove.
This time around the shop has gone through some changes, including becoming co-ed.
But, more importantly, the streets have gotten more dangerous. The danger is real. Hearing bullets fly becomes old hat. Gangs are prevalent. Young folks are killing young folks and Calvin and his crew want to do something about it. They want to save their neighborhood so they plan a 48-hour cease-fire by bringing together the heads of two rival gangs. Calvin, who is now a family man, is concerned about the safety of his 14-year-old son, Jalen.
Director Malcolm Lee has assembled an all-star, abled cast. The story is poignant and timely. There are some genuine moments in the film. There is a sense of realness and authenticity with some of the issues surrounding the shop and the neighborhood. Some of Lee’s direction is a bit choppy and some of the dialogue occasionally gets a bit preachy, which takes away from the flow of the film. It’s as if every character is presenting their own soliloquy. But the message is there and it’s important!
Make your appointment and go to Barbershop: The Next Cut. The message is worth listening to.
Barbershop: The Next Cut is directed by Malcolm Lee and stars Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Tyga, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lamorne Morris, Anthony Anderson, Jazsmin Lewis, J.B. Smoove, Michael Rainey Jr., Common and Nicki Minaj.
Rated: PG-13; Running time 112 min.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Barbershop: The Next Cut gets an L (likeable).