Release date:April 15, 2016
Studio:New Line Cinema (Warner Bros.), MGM
Director:Malcolm D. Lee
MPAA Rating:PG-13 (for sexual material and language)
Screenwriters:Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver
Starring:Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Eve , JB Smoove, Lamorne Morris, Sean Patrick Thomas, Deon Cole, Common , Nicki Minaj
It’s time for another cut from the Chicago barbers, and this one has some sharp comedy. In the third installment of the Barbershop franchise, things have not gotten better in Chicago. The film does a nice job of reminding us of the gang violence and police shooting that has plagued the Windy City. Something has to be done to bring peace and justice to their beloved city. But, the makers of Barbershop don’t forget that this is a comedy, and it is a very funny comedy indeed. While they strive to create peace through a successful ceasefire, there is plenty of comedy cutting between the many players of the shop.
Barbershop continues to be an ensemble piece, starring Ice Cube as Calvin who co-owns the shop with his partner, Angie (Regina Hall). Together they run a full service shop in the South Side that caters to quite a crew of funny employees and customers. The heavy lifting of humor doesn’t come from the leads but from the many seasoned pros of standup and movies. Cedric the Entertainer is back with his old man wit, better prepared to cut down one of us friends than cut hair. Anthony Anderson (J.D.) is back as the enterprising mobile caterer. His character is very funny, but I wanted to see more of him. He might have been too busy shooting Black-ish There just isn’t much room in this movie for a comedian to get some time in.
Deon Cole is one of my favorite comedians today, and he is not wasted in this movie. He is known for his odd sense of humor, and it comes out big time in Barbershop. He just doesn’t seem to know when to go home. Barbershop has always been played as the community hangout, putting as many as ten or more jokers in the scene at one time. My only criticism is that the lines fly so fast that you want to rewind to hear them again. Of course, they also use some inside jokes that I’m not meant to understand. I will say the audience had no trouble laughing at the humor, I just wanted subtitles.
Other players worth mentioning include Common as Rashad, Calvin’s friend who challenges Calvin’s feelings about the neighborhood and his family. The Barbershop is a dangerous place to be flirting, so watch out for the seductive Draya (Nicki Minaj).
But, the movie really shines when it takes a hard look at gangs and violence. They don’t pull punches when they talk about their community and how they can bring it together. The problem is bigger than any one barbershop, but it sends a message home to the audience about the meaninglessness violence and hatred that kills too many young people.
Finally, stay around for the end credits. That’s one of the best parts of the film. There’s a fun cameo that you’ll want to see, worth the price of admission. That’s all I have to say about that.