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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 Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

While this sequel is not quite as funny as the original, it's once again set in the traditional barbershop on Chicago's South Side that's run by hard-working Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube), who inherited it from his father. It's a place where the cutters and their customers can - and do - say whatever crosses their minds about social issues, politics, race relations or entertainment.

This time, Calvin's rattled by an inner-city real-estate entrepreneur Quentin Leroux (Harry Lennix) who is determined to gentrify the 'hood by developing a group of trendy franchises, like juice bars, sandwich shops and gyms. "As long as they ain't building no liquor stores - or stripper bars - I'm cool with that," he reasons. But when a snazzy competitor called Nappy Cutz opens across the street, a territorial struggle begins and Cal discovers just how important his shop is.

From the opening credits, which trace the history of black coiffure, it's a tribute to African-American culture. Written by Don D. Scott, based on characters created by Mark Brown, and directed by Kevin Rodney Smith ("How Stella Got Her Groove Back"), its humor is topical, timely and character-driven. In addition to Ice Cube, there's Cedric the Entertainer, the irreverent barber whose past history within the shop is revealed in flashback; the singer Eve, the only female cutter; Queen Latifah, the feisty proprietor of the beauty shop next-door; plus Troy Garrity, the token white barber. But it's the fast-paced, irreverent banter that you're gonna remember, particularly when the Washington D.C. sniper is dubbed "the Jackie Robinson of crime." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" is a savvy, sassy 7. And look for Queen Latifah to have her own spin-off, "Beauty Shop," later this year.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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