Movie Review - Barbershop: The Next Cut

This past weekend, I couldn't remember if I had seen any of the Barbershop films previously, so I watched Barbershop 2 on Xfinity on-demand. It had some laughs, and had me intrigued to see what they would do with the next installment. Barbershop: The Next Cut, aka Barbershop 3, follows the formula of its predecessors, but also is a little darker / addresses more "real world" issues, and was a fun movie to watch.

Most of the old crew is back in Barbershop 3, including Calvin (Ice Cube), Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), Terri (Eve), Jimmy (Sean Patrick Hall, in a few cameo scenes), and more. Life is going on as usual at the barbershop, except that its located on the South side of Chicago, and the area has gotten a little rough; the shop now has gates in front of it that are closed at night, much like you'd see in a shopping mall. Calvin's son, Jalen (Michael Rainey Jr.) is now a teenager, and he and his friend Kenny have become mixed up with the wrong crowds, too; Calvin is doing all that he can to prevent Jalen from joining a gang. The women's hair shop is also now in the same building as the barbershop - it's been expanded to include a women's side - and we see some new faces such as Draya (Nicki Minaj) and Bree (Margot Bingham, The Family) because of this.

Most of the older films include chit chat in the barbershop, and this one is no different; part of the reason I liked Barbershop 2 was that although it did have a plot (in that film, they were trying to keep a chain barbershop from moving in across the street), a lot of it was just them shooting the breeze. In this movie, they talk about more serious issues, and the women bring a different dynamic to the shop - this was interesting to see. I enjoyed seeing new faces that I recognized, too, such as Minaj, Bingham, Common, and Lamorne Morris (New Girl) who had not been in the previous movies.

Yes, see this film, if you've seen the previous ones and enjoyed them. I would venture to say that this one can be seen as a standalone movie, but I liked that I had learned more about the characters in the previous films; for example, Eddie gets more of a backstory (and more screen time) in Barbershop 2 than he does here. I'd like to go back and rewatch the first Barbershop (2002) now, also, to see if I remember it. I've been a fan of Ice Cube's for a while now, too, and he is good in these movies, as the owner of the barbershop; the only thing missing for me was Queen Latifah, who had a cameo in the last one (and also starred in a spin-off, Beauty Shop, which I now need to watch).

Barbershop: The Next Cut
is currently playing in theaters, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 112 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

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