Film Review: ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’

Undeniably a catalyst for assertion, reconstruction and liberation, “Barbershop: The Next Cut” attempts to give structure and purpose to black activism locally and nationally. Set to hit theaters on April 15, “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” has definitely set the tone for films due to tackle police brutality, injustice within the black community, and gentrification.

In the 14 years since the original Barbershop (2002) release and 12 since the sequel Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004), Calvin Palmer, Jr. (Ice Cube) has maintained the traditional culture of the South Side barbershop. However, this time around, he shares the establishment with Angie (Regina Hall) who operates a beauty salon.

With a dynamic cast, which includes Terri (Eve) and her barber husband, Rashad (Common), Draya (Nicki Minaj), the film is an ongoing comedy. Carrying on an altogether lively performance are Jerrod (Lamorne Morris), Indian-American cutter Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and Bree (Margot Bingham), a group of characters who adds to the urgency of the film.

At the intersection of sexual innuendos, barbershop politics, and father-son disagreements, the cast still manages to insert issues within the community, which directly affect their business as well as both Calvin and Rashaad sons Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr.) and Kenny (Diallo Thompson).

When asked about the role barbershops play in the black community Cube said, “We’re [black people] not really into going to therapy. It’s taboo in our culture, and most of the times you can talk your problems out are at the barbershop or salon.”

An ode to Chicago, the film isn’t dense enough in its context, but it’s rather functioning as an outcry to the city in regards to the widespread gang violence that continues to plague its neighborhoods.

More Than A Moment

In many ways, “Barbershop: The Next Cut” is attempting to educate and construct a platform for discourse and dialogue for their black and non-black audience. Despite mentioning Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice in the film, it’ll take more than name-dropping to develop the initial framework of how we, the black community, tackle issues within our community

“We all have to take ownership of our community, not just of our family or what we possess, but also of our community,” Cube said. “I think we can do a lot by not accepting foolishness all the time, and not accepting it especially from the kids.”

A kind of all-in-your-face film, “Barbershop: The Next Cut” is guaranteed to keep you laughing with its commercial appeal, Instagram references, and all around comedy.

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