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Barbershop 2: Back in Business
2004 - PG-13 - 110 Mins.
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Producer: George Tillman Jr., Alex Gartner, Robert Teitel
Written By: Don D. Scott
Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Queen Latifah, Troy Garity, Harry Lennix, Michael Ealy
Review by: Carl Langley
   

I can't believe she just called me the black Pillsbury Doughboy
All the loud-mouthed characters are back for Barbershop 2: Back in Business; some have their jobs still, while others have moved on to better things. The shop is still running, the customers are still flowing in, and the free conversation is still rattling the walls. This is until a haircut franchise called Nappy Cutz comes and threatens to kick Calvin’s shop off the block.

This is not much of a plot for a sequel, which stands in as a decoy for returning all the characters for its talk show atmosphere. After all, this is what made its predecessor so successful: finding most of its humor in clever, self-deprecating interests. Just like the first movie, the sequel is one gigantic talk show about current and historical events, figures, and the daily life of its characters.

Calvin, who is once again played by Ice Cube, has some political decisions to make this time around. In the first film, he had to discover what was true to his heart and fight hard to gain that back. Here Calvin has to determine if the community is still worth not succumbing to the overbearing Nappy Cutz and the enticing amount of money for his wife and newborn child. An entrepreneur (Harry Lennix of the new Matrix films) has moved in across the street with a new fancy haircut place with features that outshine the elderly customs of Calvin’s barbershop. Even a bigger problem is all the small-chain franchises are being pushed aside for the much bigger, more profitable organizations.

Much like its predecessor, Barbershop 2: Back in Business is hilarious when it contains itself in the work environment, gathering laughs from the riffs spoken from each characters. Cedric is back as Eddie, still cracking on his fellow black people and still sporting what appears to be a major dandruff problem in that afro of his. This time around he rips on icons such as Tiger Woods and even calls the infamous D.C. sniper the “Jackie Robinson of crime.” To spice things up, Queen Latifah joins the cast, playing Gina, and goes one on one with Eddie in an uproarious back-and-forth tirade. Undoubtedly, Gina’s character is introduced to us and lays the groundwork for her upcoming spin-off, Beauty Shop.

Once again, unfortunately, the sitcom-style plot features one too many subplots and meanders off into worthless individual storylines. No one cares about the new romantic relationship between Eve’s character and Michael Ealy’s, which is definitely the nadir of this rambunctious flick. There is another branch of flashbacks that tell us about Eddie’s history and explain why he always has a chair but never does any work. If at all interesting, it offers no laughs, which keeps a movie like this rolling.

Nevertheless, Barbershop 2: Back in Business is not unsuccessful. There are moments of bellyaches - whether it is from laughing or from that sickness that you wasted your money on this flick, I will leave up to you. Even with its faults, it once again compares with the first film, balancing audacious jibes with a good amount of tenderness. In general, it is much of the same and if you appreciated the surprise hit two years ago, you will not regret a second helping.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental.
  3.5 out of 5 stars

 
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