BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS
Review by Gordon Justesen
Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael
Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Harry Lennix, Kenan Thompson, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon,
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Features: See Review
Length: 106 Minutes
Release Date: June 29, 2004
YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP, YAP! All that yappin' leads me to Rule
No. 3; NO MORE LOUD TALKIN'."
Barbershop was one of the breakout hits of 2002. It was an urban comedy that
managed to cross over and appeal to just about everyone. The edgy humor resulted
in many big time laughs, even if the laughs came from comments that would
normally raise eyebrows, which it did to a certain degree. Audiences dug the
fresh, upbeat and edgy qualities of the movie, and it was soon clear that the
desire for another appointment at the barbershop was at a pure high.
Where as most
comedies aren't even worthy of a sequel, Barbershop
2: Back in Business is a rare delight. While wouldn't go so far as to say
that it's better than its predecessor, this follow up sequel does a fantastic
job at keeping in all of the elements that made the first movie so uproarious
and riveting. Like the film which it follows, Barbershop 2 provides a grand mixture of an uplifting story, nicely
realized characters and razor sharp laughs provided by the superb cast.
The movie returns
to the establishment of Calvin's Barbershop, the famed establishment on
Chicago's south side which in the first film was in danger of being bought out
by a local numbers runner. Having survived that debacle, Calvin (Ice Cube) and
his co-workers are enjoying big time business, as well as large doses of
"healthy" conversations with the numerous customers.
But Calvin is about
to endure another potential bump in the road. A level of future heated
competition arrives in the form of Nappy Cutz, a nation wide franchise which is
looking to open a new location right across the street from the beloved
establishment that was started by Calvin's father. And what's more, Nappy Cutz
isn't just the average barbershop. Among other things, this particular location
will house its very own indoor basketball court.
It's up to Calvin
and his fellow barbers to do whatever is necessary to keep his place from going
out of business. Even if it means turning to his ex-girlfriend, Gina (Queen
Latifah) to assist in any potential fund raisers. Gina also happens to be the
father of Calvin's son and the owner of the next door beauty salon. With hype
building up daily about Nappy Cutz, Calvin is determined to seek help from even
that of the local alderman, who's accessible through former employee Jimmy (Sean
Patrick Thomas), who is now an assistant to the alderman.
Of course, the
heart of the first Barbershop was the
outrageous character of Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), the shop's veteran
barber who never seems to get any customers. Cedric created a memorable
character, with a magical comedic rhythm all his own. He also provided the
single most memorable pieces of dialogue in the movie, including his thoughts on
Rosa Parks and Jesse Jackson. Not only is there more of Cedric in Barbershop
2, but Eddie has been given a bit of a back story, with flashbacks to help
reveal the role he played in keeping the barbershop around for so long.
characters get good attention, as well. The sexy and feisty Terri (Eve), who got
back at her cheating boyfriend in the first movie, is once again in complicated
romantic matter involving fellow barbers Ricky (Michael Ealy) and Dinka (Leonard
Earl Howze). Isaac (Troy Garity), aka the lone white guy of the staff, now
proclaims to be the best barber in the shop. New amongst the staff is Calvin's
cousin, Kenard (Kenan Thompson), who will no doubt have much to adjust to.
With the first Barbershop
setting a high standard for character based comedies, it's most pleasant to see
that Barbershop 2: Back in Business keeps the level going strong. Mixing
hilarious moments with terrific characters in a good enough plot scenario proves
that this maybe more than an average movie franchise, but a business that is
here to stay.
MGM boasts a most
terrific anamorphic presentation to match the one that presided on the disc of
the previous movie. Image quality is endlessly superb and very well realized.
Sharpness is a key factor in the presentation's every frame. Colors are natural
and absorbing for certain. The sets in and around the Barbershop turn up in
outstanding form. A sequence in the confines of Nappy Cutz, filled with blue
neon lights, is a most grand looking moment. An excellent looking disc, indeed.
predecessor, Barbershop 2 is a movie
powered by words and story. However, the 5.1 mix supplied by MGM does make the
most such a movie. Range, I found, is very present in many sequences,
particularly those in the barbershop. Music is also is major factor, as and
array of hip hop and R&B songs accompany the action of many numerous
portions of the movie. Dialogue delivery is as clean and sharp as it can get.
Quite an impressive performance.
As they did with
the original Barbershop, MGM spares no
trims whatsoever in the features department with this Special Edition release.
Featured are two commentary tracks; one with director Kevin Rodney Sullivan and
producers Robert Teitel and George Tilman Jr., and the second a video commentary
by cast members Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Troy Garity and
Jazsmin Lewis. Also included are deleted scenes, an outtakes reel, two music
videos; "Not Today" from Mary J. Blige and Eve and "I Can't
Wait" by Sleepy Brown and Outkast. Lastly, there's a behind the scenes
photo gallery and a trailer gallery.