Remember when I said in my Ride Along 2 review that almost every Tim Story movie lacks good casting, creative storytelling, and most importantly, humor? Well, the one exception is Barbershop, which does have entertaining characters and a soulful sense of humor. The sequel is unfunny, bland, extraordinarily clichéd, forgettable, and shouldn’t have existed. You could not fathom the amount of negative feelings I had towards The Next Cut. Aside from having no reason to exist, the title is a freaking pun (when has that ever worked?), and they casted Nicki Minaj. I guess it’s time to eat my own words (which taste like inexperience for some reason), cuz this movie is grand.
Barbershop: The Next Cut is directed by Malcolm D. Lee and written by: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver, and Mark Brown. Stars-Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Regina Hall, Eve, Common, and Nicki Minaj. Premise-Chicago’s crime rates are up (mostly due to an increase in gangs), and the streets are more dangerous than ever. Calvin (owner of The Barbershop) must now raise his teenage son to do the right thing whilst trying to make a difference in the community with his friendly barbershop.
This movie is the best comedy of the year, no doubt about it. For one, the camerawork is really steady. This was a problem in both the previous films. I don’t get why some directors think that hand-held cam is necessary while shooting in a peaceful environment. The performances are even better. I’m sure no one was expecting a decent turnout from a cast that was 50% celebrities, but let me tell you, everyone is on point. Each actor was given material that the writers knew they could handle, and the result was perfectly delivered jokes, and charming characters. Speaking of jokes, the humor in this movie is pitch-perfect! Nearly every jokes hits home (especially if they’re delivered by Cedric), and the chemistry between the characters is just as smooth and friendly as you’d expect to see in an old-time black barbershop. I’m sure people will find this movie racist or stereotypical in one way or another, but I was never offended, the director/writers are black, and (according to my father, who once lived in L.A.) black barbershops are almost exactly like what these films portray them as. You want stereotypically racist character portrayals? Remember Flo from Pitch Perfect 2? There you go (I hate that movie).
Anyway, you know what else this comedy has? Social commentary, yay! In the same fashion of Zootopia (by that I mean they write in social commentary even though the film is a comedy), Barbershop 3 adds depth to its story by bringing up what it’s like to live in the ghetto, what it’s like to raise a child in an environment where they are constantly pressured to join gangs, as well as relationship drama. The movie does a fine job of balancing comedy with drama, and it portrays the drama pretty well for the most part. The commentary is really just third-class to the humor and the drama which is excellent (especially between Calvin and his son). Because of the stronger screenplay, Barbershop 3 is the best of all the Barbershop films.
The only things I didn’t like were the slightly overlong runtime, and a pointless character or two. Oh yeah, and a credits scene that really didn’t need to be made. Other than that, Barbershop: The Next Cut is the best comedy of the year, and one of the best movies of 2016 so far. Barbershop: The Next Cut gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A-.