Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Barbershop 2: In It For The Money

At the end of the first Barbershop, everyone was happy. Calvin got his shop back from the bad guy who got arrested. Terri broke up with her trifling man. Jimmy and Isaac learned to deal with their issues. Ricky was saved from going back to jail. Eddie still talked junk. It was a nice ending. Yet, whenever Hollywood makes money off something, they just can’t leave well enough alone....which is why Barbershop 2 got made.

Sometimes sequels make sense. Everyone expects a sequel to an action movie. Many movies are left open-ended on purpose so that they can turn it into a potential franchise. Some, like most movies based on comic books, have tons of material for future movies. Some sequels are even better than the original. Barbershop 2 doesn’t fit into any of those categories. Fortunately, it’s not a bad movie...just a mediocre one.

I liked the original Barbershop, although it’s not one of my all-time favorites. The characters were interesting, it was pretty funny, and it wasn’t mean-spirited. Despite having the original cast back, adding some new characters, and having a new writer and director, Barbershop 2 doesn’t come close to the original. For one thing, it wasn’t all that funny. It did have its funny scenes (one scene was hilarious simply by the way it was edited) and the actors were all very good, but I didn’t really laugh that much. The movie dragged on a little too long as well. The story was predictable and cliché. My sister correctly pointed out that the main plot resembled that of the movie Good Burger and other small business vs. corporation type stories. The subplots ranged from kind of interesting to just plain tired. Also, we had to rewind the DVD a few times just to figure out what Eddie said. I think Cedric The Entertainer overplayed his role so much so that he started mumbling like real old people sometimes do.

All this didn’t add up to a bad movie, just one that feels kind of stale. It could’ve been a better movie, even better than the original Barbershop...but it wasn’t. Comedy sequels are hard to do, in the end. Sometimes they get it right like in Addams Family Values (with its wonderful dialogue) or A Very Brady Sequel (which had a hilarious naughty streak running through it). Other times you get a Next Friday (which I despise)...or a Barbershop 2.

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