All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review
Barbershop 2: Back In Action

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Barbershop 2: Back In Action

Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 116 Minutes
Release Date: February 2004
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Eve , Michael Ealy, James Chisem, Queen Latifah, Parvesh Cheena, Troy Garity, Leonard Howze, Kenan Thompson, David Newman, Jazsmin Lewis, Sean Patrick Thomas

Review by Harvey Karten
2½ stars out of 4

Decades ago in New York, every cab driver was an expert on the political scene. Today, you've a 50-50 chance that the driver will turn right when you ask for a left and I'm not using the terms politically. In like manner decades ago, every barber shop was a center of political deconstruction. Newspapers abounded on the benches, people with time and money got "the works" (which includes a shave and a hot towel) and used the hour or more constructively by tearing apart the Establishment. Nowadays, whether because they're warned to avoid talking religion and politics so as not to offend customers, or because they simply do not read but spend their free time playing with X-boxes, the conversations are bland.

There is one exception in our fair country, however. In a tonsorial parlor situated by the elevated train in Chicago's South Side, owner Calvin (Ice Cube) must keep his staff regularly in line when he find them overstepping boundaries of good taste. The main offender is Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), who bears a 1960's Afro and inhabits a chair, but he has no more customers than he processed in the "Barbershop" last year. In the first of the series, we have no idea why Eddie is allowed to remain on the staff taking up space and continuing to speak his mind without thinking. This time, however, director Kevin Rodney Sullivan utilizes Don D. Scott's screenplay to add some depth, not necessarily welcome given the way some black-and-white and desaturated footage showing the 1968 scene 1968 interferes with the flow of comedy.

Much of the fun lies in Eddie's off-the-cuff elocutions. In the 2003 film, Eddie created a virtual cause celebre, a casus belli in fact, by dissing major civil rights figures like Martin Luther King. This time, his remarks, which might have elicited an audience gasp "Did he really say that?" do not, because we have quickly come to expect anything from the man. Thus when he calls the DC sniper "the Jackie Robinson of crime," he receives no adverse publicity in the media, showing how you can say just about anything as long as your public expects and appropriately discounts politically incorrect commentary.

The plot turns on an attempt by a hotshot developer, Quentin Leroux (Harry Lennix) to gentrify the Chicago neighborhood of the titled shop. As part of the deal, he has erected a fancy hair emporium right across the street from Calvin's, called Nappy Cutz, which is like what Starbucks is to Nedick's. Wondering whether his business days are numbered, Calvin gets a promise of loyalty from most of his staff, which include the only white barber, Isaac (Troy Garrity), the seen-it-all woman, Terri (Eve), the ex-convict Ricky (Michael Ealy), and Nigerian immigrant Dinka (Leonard Earl Howze). When the pin-striped city councilman from the district, Alderman Brown (Robert Wisdom), seeks to bribe Calvin to abandon his shop, the lines are drawn.

If "Barbershop 2" were "Barbershop 1," the film would be as fresh as the day's hair on the tiled floor. However, the movie suffers the damage of most sequels: the wit and shocks of the original are buried in much the way that you'd be turned off eating fried chicken wings seven days a week. Still, director Sullivan gives us a personal story of the sort that's being whittled away by studios' emphasis on computer generated imagery. We get a look, however exaggerated, of life in a mundane, even depressed area of a large city, while the endless kibitzing of the barbers and customers more than occasionally finds down-home humor and properly modulated sentiment.

Copyright 2004 Harvey Karten

More reviews:    Main  2   3  4   5   Next >>
Featured DVD/Video
Star Wars Episode II
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us