The barbershop has long been a place to share ideas about topics deemed too controversial for everyday conversation. In Barbershop 2: Back In Business, Calvin and the crew are back with more humor that’ll make you think: Did they really just say that?
Last year’s original Barbershop, with its raucous sense of humor and bashing of almost any relevant black celebrity, was a winner with audiences. One of the best things about the sequel is the fact that the entire cast returns to deliver on their promise of a funny and entertaining follow-up.
Calvin, played by Ice Cube, is still running his shop, with Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer) providing the daily controversy amongst the other employees.
With a new baby and business booming, Calvin is content to let his crew go about their daily routine of discussing the latest news and making outlandish remarks about everything from the D.C. sniper being black to R. Kelly setting up his own sex tape.
All is well until a new shop opens across the street, the notorious corporate devil Nappy Cutz, which, rumor has it, boasts amenities such as a basketball court. This spells danger for Calvin’s little shop, as community ties, not profit, are its motive.
The crew, along with the neighboring beauty shop owner (Queen Latifah), must find a way to stay alive and avert the corporate takeover of their beloved south Chicago neighborhood.
The strength of the cast is one of the reasons this film works, as Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas and Queen Latifah each add their own style to the mix. Although not as groundbreaking or trendy as the first, the movie works well and does what it was intended to do: push the boundaries of what is funny.
Although the punchlines may not be as original as the first, and they seem somewhat contrived, they still manage to make us laugh because of their offbeat subject matter. Cedric’s delivery, too, helps really brighten the film. And we still want to know: Who really drank Eve’s apple juice?
Barbershop 2 is one of the better comedy films of late because it allows us to laugh at things even we wouldn’t talk about with our own barbers. Or would we?
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org