Anthony's Film Review

Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)

This fictional barbershop still manages to put a smile on my face...

About a month before writing this movie review, I stopped by my local neighborhood barbershop to get a haircut. It may have been an important errand to take care of, but it was not all business. While the barber was trimming my hair all around, he and I chatted about various things, like sites of interest in Southern California, Super Bowl 50, college basketball, and spring break. As the barber made the final trims, I thought to myself, "This is just like that movie Barbershop, with all the barbers and customers having a good time while bonding." At the time, I was not aware that a third Barbershop movie would be released in April 2016. Once I found out, I set aside a night to watch it at a theater.

As the movie started, I felt I was back at home, not just in terms of the barbershop visit from weeks before, but also in terms of the Barbershop movie formula. As with the previous movies, this Barbershop movie features scenes at Calvin's Barbershop that do not advance a plot but still generate laughs through dialogue that is candid, free-flowing, and sometimes outrageous. On the side, there are little subplots that carry some drama but are still the film's secondary element. Finally, you have some social commentary injected into the movie, because, after all, the barbershop is a place to talk about anything going on. It's not an isolated place.

Some characters have come and gone over the course of the series, while others have stuck around. In this third Barbershop movie, you get to see Ice Cube as Calvin, Cedric the Entertainer as Eddie, and Eve as Terri, plus characters like Common as Rashad and Utkarsh Ambudkar as the barbershop's sole Indian barber named Raja. Let's not forget the other side of the interior of Calvin's Barbershop where lady hairstylists are doing their thing for the female clientele. Those hairstylists include Regina Hall as Angie and the voluptuous Nicki Minaj as the voluptuous Draya.

So with this somewhat diverse group of barbershop workers, you can expect some interesting dialogue while on the job. Don't be surprised to hear the women accuse the men of seeing women as sex objects and the men responding back with a similar accusation. Also, expect to hear discussion about race. Speaking of which, do you remember how the first Barbershop movie included outrageously funny lines about Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, Rosa Parks, and Reverend Jesse Jackson and the second Barbershop movie mentioned Jackie Robinson and the D.C. Sniper in the same sentence? Well, this Barbershop movie has a daring comment too, this time about President Barack Obama. I won't reveal the line, but let's just say it'll likely trigger a cringe reaction in First Lady Michelle as well as daughters Sasha and Malia. (Note to Obama: Mr. President, if you watch this movie, don't walk away from it just because of this scene. Stick around for another scene about you that I think you will actually find funny.)

As for the drama scenes, they do make the movie interesting by providing a small story to follow. The main side plot is that Calvin's son hangs out with a Chicago street gang, while Calvin is worried about his son enough to want to move the barbershop to the city's north side. While you can definitely feel the seriousness of the drama, it's not so much that it permanently destroys the comedy and humor. In fact, there are moments where the drama and comedy are juxtaposed and you still find yourself able to laugh. There's one part where two rival gang members enter the barbershop at different times and, upon seeing each other, threaten to beat up or kill each other. Even with such an intense encounter, one of the barbers expresses fear of dying as a virgin.

I did enjoy watching this movie, even if the laughs were more like quick genuine chuckles than big loud laughs. I was also pleasantly surprised that the drama portion of the movie didn't ruin it for me. No matter what was happening, I just went with the flow, the same way the funny barbershop conversations seemed to flow naturally. So yeah, I say this movie is a good one. At this point, I wonder if my local barbershop could play the Barbershop movies for customers coming in to get a trim or styling. Then again, it's probably more fun to let the good times roll and live out your own version of Calvin's Barbershop.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Barbershop: The Next Cut, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my reviews of Barbershop and Barbershop 2: Back in Business.


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