Barbershop 2: Back in Business

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating: Rated PG-13 for language, sexual material and brief drug references 
Starring:Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity 
Directed By:Kevin Rodney Sullivan 

Final Grade: 

The sequel can be either pulled off perfectly or become a colossal failure. You can spend millions of dollars bringing in the best actors, the best writers and the best of every possible position money can buy, but that doesn’t guarantee a success. Hollywood has to have figured this out. A sequel just doesn’t do the same for business as the original did. But what they have figured out is that it makes 80% of the money that the original makes when it is all said and done.

Now many of you may remember back when Michael Haley used to write for this site, he praised the original Barbershop as a “gem.” I had to rush out and see this film, and when I did I realized that he had hit the nail right on the head. Barbershop was witty, it was entertaining and did a fantastic job all around. But what I never would have guessed is a sequel. But apparently when MGM has a success they will do just about everything to milk it for all it’s worth. Which is why we see Barbershop 2 in theaters today. Luckily for all of you Barbershop fans, in this sequel the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree that it was based on. Almost every character is back, except for Anthony Anderson’s (which you assume is in prison for stealing the ATM in the first movie) and we find Ice Cube and his crew of barbers making it quite well in their shop. But all good things come to an end, and they find trouble when a local real estate mogul tries to build a “Nappy Cuts” barbershop right across the street. Now once again Calvin (Ice Cube) has to fight for the Barbershop that has been in his family for years.

Ice Cube makes another hit with this film. Not quite an equal to the first Barbershop, but it is pretty close. The humor is still there, the originality, and the outstanding cast makes this film work. Ice Cube leads the way, putting on yet another great performance making it easy for his supporting cast to follow his lead. The always entertaining Cedric the Entertainer returns to his role of Eddie, the loud, trash talking, elderly barber this time trashing yet again more of black pop culture with a style that is a true gem to watch as well. If nothing else floats your boat about Barbershop, Cedric will bring about a good laugh, even if you can’t always understand every word that he says.

The only problems with Barbershop is that the story somewhat lacked an identity from the first one. To me it felt like I was watching the first one all over again, only this time with just a few new jokes, and the addition of Queen Latifa trying to sell her spin off series “Beautyshop” by being the beautician in the shop next door. Latifa’s actual role in the movie was pointless and only designed to hype her movie, sort of like the Jinx Character Halle Berry played in James Bond: Die Another Day. The only difference is the Jinx project got cancelled (thank god) and the Beautyshop spin off is well under way.

In the end, Barbershop 2 is worth the cash. Few times do you go to a film expecting nothing and coming out with a gem. But Ice Cube has made it happen for me twice. Go jump in a line and enjoy the film, and if you haven’t checked out the original…What are you waiting for? And after you are done with that head to the box offices and enjoy the second installment. This is a sequel that actually deserves to be on film. 

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