Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quick Movie Review: Barbershop 2 (2004)

2002's Barbershop didn't necessarily reinvent the wheel of comedy, but it's something quite unique. Hearkening back to Ice Cube's 1995 hit, Friday, the film tries to make use of the non-story. Instead, thriving on its characters and slow plot exposition.

In Barbershop 2, they try to duplicate the first one, but doesn't quite work as well--albeit almost. Whereas the writers, in the first Barbershop, seem to be on their own level, making their own rules, Barbershop 2 seems to channel a little too much Tyler Perry. It's a slightly more predictable and silly and transparent, and tries to please the audience too much.

An exception is the return of Cedric the Entertainer as the old man barber, Eddie, who never cuts hair, but will tell you every last thing that's on his mind. He's still got the edgy dialogue that would make today's PC crowd shiver in their organic Uggs.

In Barbershop 2, Calvin (Ice Cube) learns of a Supercuts-esque barbershop opening up across the street. The word around town is buzzing because this place is supposed to be like the country club of barbershops. Eventually, he finds out that the whole community is getting a facelift, which forces out all of the businesses who have worked hard establishing themselves as mainstays for the neighborhood.

The pacing is about the same, but feels much slower--mostly due to the reduction of sub-stories and B-plots. There are so many different characters, but each one's significance is lessened in order to better focus on the premise.

Both films are about integrity and doing the right thing, but this one just says it a bit differently.

It's funny, because as the film tries so hard to be deeper, the characters become less so. They're all just as likable, but the dynamics just aren't as strong.

As a stand alone film, Barbershop 2 isn't bad at all. In fact, it's quite enjoyable. The jokes won't really leave you rolling in the aisles, but there is plenty of smile-worthy dialogue. The content means well and provides us with the similar warmth that the first one gives us. A little less cool, Barbershop 2 can pride itself on at least giving us another taste of what made the first one so special without tarnishing anything.

Twizard Rating: 74

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