#REVIEW: “BARBERSHOP 3: THE NEXT CUT”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
It’s been 12 years since the last Barbershop Movie. In that time, a black man has become President and the Chicago crime rate has escalated… exponentially. This and so much more is reflected in Barbershop: The Next Cut.
Like its predecessors, the Film follows Calvin Palmer, a Chicago based barber. The primary difference with this third chapter is its discussion of serious contemporary issues. Namely, the relentless gun violence in Chicago. Yes, there is a gravity to this Film, but there’s mostly levity. Like the second chapter the Film brings back characters from its past while incorporating new ones. Rashad (Common) has joined the staff and is married to Barbershop veteran Terri (Eve). Regina Hall plays Calvin’s business partner Angie, and together they manage new talent (Nicki Minaj) and old (Cedric the Entertainer). With Malcolm D. Lee at the helm, Black Hollywood is strong on both sides of the camera, an attribute consistent with all Cube Vision projects.
It often goes unnoticed how continuously influential and important Ice Cube’s voice is. Hopefully this will not go overlooked again, as this Film brings Chicago the type of cinematic attention that Spike Lee struggled to. The way Cube’s team does this is by taking the Barbershop model and expanding on it. Calvin’s shop is in trouble, but this time the reason is more troubling than a local pimp or corrupt politician. This time the issue is bodies in the street and bullets in the air. Because of this the city government has threatened to regulate the traffic in Calvin’s neighbourhood, a response that unsettles his staff. Their solution to solving the problem is to stimulate a ceasefire by using their connections and offering their services. The supporting subplot is between Calvin and his son Jalen (Michael Rainy Jr.). Jalen connects the narrative to the youthful gunmen of Chicago, an unruly band of rivals. This grounds the story in realities that can be seen on the nightly news.
We all have an opinion on such things, just like the characters in the Film. We all feel a certain way about the world around us, and we often voice our issues. It’s discussion for a barbershop, one that plays out nicely on screen, and hopefully in life.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release BARBERSHOP 3: THE NEXT CUT on Friday, April 15, 2016.