Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with director
and producers; Music videos featuring Mary J Blige & Eve and
Outkast; Easter egg; Deleted scenes; Outtakes; Photo gallery;
Trailer; Behind the scenes photo gallery.
THE hairdressers from Barbershop reunite for a surprise sequel,
following the word-of-mouth success of 2002s original, but,
needless to say, things arent quite as sharp this time around.
Calvin (Ice Cube) is still struggling to make ends meet, while
his hairdressing crew continue their signature discussions, but
while the camaraderie still exists, the premise feels a little
more strained this time, making the generous running time seem
a little exhausting.
The plot finds Calvins shop under threat from a money-hungry
corporation, which intends to re-gentrify the neighbourhood,
by bringing in coffee bars, video stores and a big-name haircut
chain, while his employees encounter their usual complications.
But aside from the odd moment of inspiration and joviality, things
tend to feel a little over-stretched, leaving you with the feeling
that this would be better-suited to a short, crisp sitcom, rather
than a full-blown movie.
Perhaps the absence of original script-writer, Mark Brown, has
had some effect, but there is little of the spark which made the
first film such a success, which merely serves to highlight how
formulaic the plot remains.
Producer, Robert Teitel, said he wanted the sequel to explore
how communities cope with change, especially when
faced with a loss of identity, and, while the film does resist
the temptation to become overly sentimental, things fail to gel
as well as they might.
The cast works well together, but seldom get close to establishing
the bond which made the ensembles in Friends,
Cheers or Frasier so special.
And therein lies its biggest problem - the film quickly becomes
boring and unable to sustain the interest over such a long period
Of the support players, Cedric the Entertainer probably comes
off best, as his back story is relayed via a series of flashbacks,
which show a former life of crime, as well as a potential love
But story arcs involving Eve, as the only female member of the
barber shop team, who has to face up to hidden feelings, Sean
Patrick Thomas, as a political idealist who is about to learn
some tough lessons, and Troy Garity, as the only white member
of the crew, who wants more recognition for his talents, fail
to rise above the average, only fleetingly hinting at the humour
contained within their predicaments.
A special appearance by Queen Latifah also fails
to live up to its billing, and feels more smug and self-congratulatory,
Fans of the original will, no doubt, welcome the opportunity
of hanging out with this crew once again, but Barbershop 2 feels
as pointless a sequel as a bald man requesting a stylist.