Barbershop 2: Back in Business

Reviewed By Greg Muskewitz
Posted 02/13/04 02:14:48

"No new beef."
3 stars (Just Average)

Sequel to the popular 2002 comedy, it would be better off with the subtitle Back for Business.

Ice Cube and crew reunite at his south Chicago barbershop for more of the same comedic highlights as last time, facing additional competition from a soon-to-be-opened opulent salon across the street called Nappy Cutz. The actors all pick up where they left off, some unchanged, some in the process of change (the white boy has now moved out of the first chair and is known as “Slim Fady”), and notwithstanding some unnecessary fleshing out and flashback explanation given to Cedric the Entertainer’s character in an attempt to allow him more opportunity to participate, nothing new is done to the franchise to distinguish it from its predecessor. (Unless you want to count a couple of appearances by Queen Latifah, who will be getting a spin-off with her own Beauty Shop.) Upheld with a hip soundtrack and irreverent politically incorrect humor, Barbershop 2 works best when its characters are being funny and fighting with each other or lambasting pop-culture blemishes (“I got something you won’t believe: R. Kelly on tape with grown women”). It only fumbles when the filmmakers decide to disingenuously and superficially push across a message — not that a sense of community is irrelevant here, but the way that it is so sloppily portrayed and tacked on, it has no impact on the rest of the movie and wouldn’t detract in the least if altogether removed. Particular stand outs, and those with the better material, are Ice Cube, Cedric (when you can understand him), Queen Latifah, Eve, Michael Ealy, and Leonard Earl Howze. Also with Sean Patrick Thomas, Troy Garity, Harry Lennix, Garcelle Beauvais, Robert Wisdom, and Kenan Thompson; directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan.


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