By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
WHEN the first of the Barbershop film threequel first hit the screens, it was to be a resounding success because it resonated with a lot of people.
Everyone knows that in the townships barbershops and salons are like news broadcasters, if you want to know what is happening in your community, the barbershop/ salon is the place to go.
Barbershop had a familiarity that most people could relate and loved, it mimicked a typical barbershop where friendships were made and discourse on serious matters was held.
Unfortunately the latest instalment of the threequel, Barbershop: The Next Cut proves to be half-baked version of its original self, relying heavily on black stereotypes to keep it afloat.
Director Malcolm D. Lee and his star-studded cast of Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Common, Regina Hall, Eve, Anthony Anderson, Tyga and Nicki Minaj, to name a few, did nothing to elevate the half-baked script. Not to mention that Tyga and Minaj’s acting skills were abysmal.
In Barbershop: The Next Cut, the crew is faced having to close down the shop due to the escalating violence in Chicago. On top of that, each of the characters has to deal with their own personal issues, such as how to raise a child in that kind of environment and infidelity.
A majority of the scenes are shot in the barbershop, which is understandable because it’s where they work but it is unstimulating and visually exhausting.
It is evident that the intention was begin a discourse on poignant issues being experience by African- Americans, especially the cases of police brutality and senseless killing of black people. It is also meant to give a behind the scenes look of how African-Americans themselves are affected by these issues, as well as their thoughts.
Unfortunately Lee does not manage to completely follow through and the film comes off as half-baked, the sub-plots (e.g. the romance/ infidelity) also come across as forced and not well thought out. They do not seem to gel in effortlessly with the main plot.
Lee merely scratched on the surface of the issue and regurgitated information that has been dominating social media over the years. They started really important conversations, unfortunately the did not finish them nor did they offer a new perspective on them.
Unsurprisingly, Utkarsh Ambudkar’s character Raja, was made to be the voice of opposition on some of the issues, presumably because he is Indian.
Ice Cube (who also wears the hat of a produce for the threequel) and his team would have saved a pretty penny had they just done a TED Talk, as opposed to the long winded film that felt like a lullaby.
Fortunately it was not a complete bust because there were a few laughs in between, which make the film easier to watch.
If you haven’t seen any of the Barbershop films, you will certainly enjoy this one, but if you have, you are not missing out on anything by not watching it.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015