Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Running Time: 1:46
as Calvin Palmer
Cedric the Entertainer
Sean Patrick Thomas
Leonard Earl Howze
Harry J. Lennix
Barbershop 2: Back in Business was a lot like the original Barbershop; it had some funny moments and it got too moralistic towards the end.
The boys (and girl) of the barbershop are back. This time, a corrupt developer, along with a corrupt Alderman, is putting a black franchise of barber shops, called Nappy Cutz, across the street from Calvin's place. Needless to say, this puts Calvin and his crew on the defensive, so they start changing the way they are to try and please who they think are the target customers. Keeping the music down, no cussing, calling everyone by name; these are just a few of the changes Calvin makes to try and keep customers. But of course in the end he realizes that it's about being who you are and letting the neighborhood know that you're not a sell-out. In other story lines, Terri and Ricky seem to like each other, Eddie has flashbacks, and Gina, the owner of the beauty shop next door makes an appearance, preaparing the world for her own spin-off movie this fall.
There are definitely moments in Barbershop 2 that will have you rolling in the aisles, and just about all of them take place in the barber shop when the actors/characters are just free flowing. When they try and set up a joke, it's not nearly as funny. I think it's when you feel like you're part of a neighborhood barber shop that things are the most humorous because it feels like the people there are just speaking their mind. Eddie goes off and makes fun of anyone and everyone, there's the 'race war' between Ricky, the black barber, and Isaac, the popular white barber, and there's the newcomer Kenard, fresh from barber college and working in Uncle Calvin's shop. So when they're in the shop, you never know who is gonna say what next so lines will come out of nowhere and make you laugh.
It's when the movie gets trapped in its story lines that it gets dragged down. Yet again something is threatening the future of Calvin's shop so he has to make a decision to either change/sell the shop, or stay the way he is. And of course, being the moral center of the neighborhood, he stays the straight and narrow, even when tempted with change. At least in this case, there is a little bit of a surprise at the end after he makes his stump speech to keep things the same.
Then there was the Eddie flashbacks story line. It took sort of two different paths. One involved showing how Eddie became part of the barber shop and how it became an important part of his life. That I could understand, although at times there were scenes that were thrown in for comic purposes and didn't really help sell the story. But there was a second story line that involved him and a girl he met on the train. That story didn't go anywhere. I had no idea what the purpose was. And then 35 years later he sees her again and there's no pay off! I kept thinking, OK, this is building to something. He sees her on the platform, has flashbacks about her, and they're gonna meet at the end and all will be revealed. And then, nothing. The same thing with the Ricky and Terri story. They're at each other's throat, then suddenly they're making out. Which is all well and good but again, no payoff at the end.
It was almost like the writers knew the main story couldn't hold up for 90 minutes, so they threw in a whole bunch of other things, not to help move the plot along or to add anything, but just so they could have a few funny moments in each story. Admittedly, it did lead to some humorous moments along the way, but in the end I kept wondering what the point was. I did like the way they handled Queen Latifah's spin-off character by only showing her a few times, letting her and her crew get a lot of laughs, then hiding them again. It was a great tease so audiences will be lining up to see her when her movie comes out.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I thought Barbershop 2: Back in Business, had some really great, funny moments, but the story was a rehash of the original, and the secondary story lines all ran into a dead end making me wonder why they were there in the first place. Still, it's worth a look if you're in the mood for a laugh.
Barber Shop Jokes and Stories
Barbershop 2: Back in Business
Friday Collection (Friday / Next Friday / Friday After Next)
© 2004 Wolfpack Productions