"Barbershop 2: Back in Business"
Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan.
Written by Don D. Scott.
Starring Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah.
Release Year: 2004
Review Date: 2/11/04
Finally! With “Barbershop 2”, I finally
found a film that I have been wanting to see in the young days of
2004...and the wait was actually worth it.
That’s because producer/star Ice Cube took
the worst part of the original “Barbershop”—a stupid subplot
featuring two guys that were trying to track down a standalone ATM
machine—and tossed it out to feature more scenes with Eddie (Cedric
the Entertainer) in flashbacks from the Chicago of 1967. Just this
one change makes “Barbershop 2” worth seeing. Sure, the main plot
line hasn’t changed from the first film; people are once again
trying to get rid of the old neighborhood barbershop that Calvin
(Cube) has been running at 79th and Exchange. This time, though,
it’s a dirty city politician (Robert Wisdom) and a rival barber
chain owner (Harry Lennix) that try to squeeze Calvin and his crew
out of house and home. Only with the help of his other barbers,
like Eddie, Ricky (Michael Ealy), Terri (Eve) and Dinka (Leonard
Earl Howze), will Calvin figure out a way to take down Nappy Cutz
and the city government.
Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan (“How Stella
Got Her Groove Back”) does his best work in the shop itself; like
the first film, the feeling captured by the filmmakers of black
folks hangin’ out in the black barbershop is perfect, from the
yelling, to the music, to the mix of old folks and young folks, to
the superstar barber, to the misinformed politics, to the rookie
barber that no one wants to get a cut from...and, in the sequel,
there’s just more of these scenes, so I spent a lot more time
laughing in “Barbershop 2” than I did during the first film. And
wisely, there’s just more Cedric. By getting to play both the
younger Eddie in the flashback scenes and the older one of the
present day, we just get more snippets of him running around being
silly, and this makes the film 10 times better, seriously. The
introduction of Kenan Thompson as rookie cutman Kenard (where’s Kel??)
works, as does a brief turn by Queen Latifah as Gina, a beauty shop
stylist. Judging from a trailer in front of “Barbershop 2”, they
are making a third movie in this series based on the Latifah
character, which is a logical transition for the series that might
open things up a little for growth in the near future.
The lack of originality of the plotline and
a predictable ending took a little bit away for me. Also, as I
mentioned in the “Barbershop” Bellview (Matinee), there just isn’t
enough profanity for a film based in a black barbershop. Still,
this is strong stuff. And, there’s little things about “Barbershop
2” that made my mom and I lose it at the theater yesterday. Like
when you see Gina take some food from the barbecue, and Eddie utters
to nobody in particular, “I betchu that link don’t even make it
inside”...and then you see Gina sneak half of the hot link in one
bite just before going back to her beauty shop. Or the fact that
the superstar barber in this sequel is the white guy, Isaac (Troy
Garity)...and watching him twirl his razor from side to side as he
achieves the perfect fade is good stuff. Or just the interior of
the Nappy Cutz shop is enough to afford some laughs: EVERYBODY
knows that black people would never have a barbershop this nice,
with fish tanks spread throughout and massage chairs at every
station, so when the staff from Calvin’s shop gets a peek at the
goods, they naturally fall over themselves...but, they stay a while
just to hang out and imagine life in the lap of luxury.
Good times, and it just misses out on top
dog status. Plus, since we saw this up in Wheaton, the crowd was
100% black and Latino, which makes every black movie better (believe
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard