Barbershop 2: Back in Business Reviews
Barbershop 2: Back in Business is a film with far more social commentary than its predecessor. Carrying over the communal theme of its predecessor, Barbershop 2: Back in Business expands beyond the confines of its singular building into the entire neighbourhood block to create a story about small businesses being threatened by the larger media conglomerates. This theme once again provides a story which focuses on bringing characters together, and as a result there is a more dramatic edge to this film than its predecessor. Barbershop 2: Back in Business is far more dramatically oriented than Barbershop even though it still has the same lighthearted atmosphere. Unfortunately, it doesn't find the same level of success.
Barbershop 2: Back in Business delivers the same simplistic narrative and dramedy of Barbershop, but rather than being a refreshing reminder of its predecessor's glory this just treads old ground. The best intentions are still at heart and the positive nature of the subject matter provides a good message, but the use of such a simplistic story is less forgivable this time around. Barbershop 2: Back in Business doesn't improve upon the lesser elements of its precessor but rather repeats them, and it was tolerable the first time but frustrating to have to experience all over again. Barbershop 2: Back in Business captures the same flaws as the first film without bringing enough new to the table to make much of an impact. As a result, the entire affair feels tired.
The key difference Between the first and second Barbershop films proves to be the aforementioned increase in dramatic content. It really doesn't serve any major benefit because the themes are still basic and very familiar so there is little innovative about the story. The story has compelling tones to it as it touches upon the concept of community staying together in times of corporate monopoly, but this is built into a simplistic story which really does little more than provide a backdrop for the cast to portray a series of stock characters. The exception for this proves to be the expanded bond between Calvin Palmer Jr. and Eddie. Barbershop 2: Back in Business depicts Eddie discussing his history with the titular barbershop and experiences in the earlier days of the Civil Rights Movement, which creates an engaging interaction for the cast members. Alas, this facet of character development is the only real interesting one. Everyone else proves arbitrary to the central story. Isaac becomes cocky due to his popularity as a barber, Dinka is still a romantic who isn't making any major progress, and Jimmy has begun working in the world of politics. Since the film tones down their comedic nature for a more dramatic one while keeping them independent from any real narrative development, this all proves rather pointless. The least interesting of all of them is Terri Jones caught up in a complicated attraction with Ricky, adding relationship drama to the film which goes nowhere and just adds running time to the experience. Essentially, Barbershop 2: Back in Business milks the same gimmicks as its predecessor without the same refreshing originality and ends up less intelligent than its predecessor and far less funny at the same time.
Nevertheless, Barbershop 2: Back in Business earns props for its cast. Many of the characters seem more like archetypes this time than they did in the first film which weakens the result of some of the performances, but there is still enough charm to support everything.
Ice Cube remains as valiant as ever. After proving his ability to portray a restrained character with plenty of heart in Barbershop, he returns to do it all over again in Barbershop 2: Back in Business with a greater expansion on his dramatic capabilities. He remains subtle but not empty, speaking with a genuine passion for the themes of the story without ever going over the top. He touches upon his stereotypical persona lightly at certain moments which brings appropriate comedy to the film, but the majority of the time he is driven to be subtle and to speak with a real meaningful appreciation for the subject matter in the screenplay. Ice Cube keeps things alive any time he is on screen in Barbershop 2: Back in Business.
But once again it is Cedric the Entertainer who is the real source of comedy gold. With a real love for the role of Eddie, Cedric the Entertainer steps back into it without having lost any of his charismatic charms. With a real attitude to him, Cedric the Entertainer commands the attention of the film with energetic passion in his line delivery and physicality. Yet he also manages to pull it all back during his character-driven interactions with Ice Cube where their chemistry once again proves to provide a really moving moment to the film. Sure it's a familiar one, but the two really work well together. Cedric the Entertainer's gleeful comic energy bounces off everyone he crosses paths with, and he really knows how to engage an audience.
However, Queen Latifah is the standout this time. Being the funniest new addition to the cast, Queen Latifah follows the theme of treading lightly along the lines of being a stereotype without ever crossing it. She has a hilarious sassy attitude to her that never wears thin because she knows how to time herself perfectly, and she is very quick witted. Yet the entire time she also has a respectable sophistication to her which lends credible support to her screen presence. Queen Latifah is a very engaging source of comedy in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, particularly in her face off with Cedric the Entertainer.
Barbershop 2: Back in Business has the same positive ambitions and talented cast as its predecessor, but with the same recycled gimmicks that fail to live up to the innovation of the first Barbershop it proves to be a generic experience.
In Barbershop 2, they try to duplicate the first one, but doesn't quite work as well--albeit almost. Whereas the writers, in the first Barbershop, seem to be on their own level, making their own rules, Barbershop 2 seems to channel a little too much Tyler Perry. It's a slightly more predictable and silly and transparent, and tries to please the audience too much.
An exception is the return of Cedric the Entertainer as the old man barber, Eddie, who never cuts hair, but will tell you every last thing that's on his mind. He's still got the edgy dialogue that would make today's PC crowd shiver in their organic Uggs.
In Barbershop 2, Calvin (Ice Cube) learns of a Supercuts-esque barbershop opening up across the street. The word around town is buzzing because this place is supposed to be like the country club of barbershops. Eventually, he finds out that the whole community is getting a facelift, which forces out all of the businesses who have worked hard establishing themselves as mainstays for the neighborhood.
The pacing is about the same, but feels much slower--mostly due to the reduction of sub-stories and B-plots. There are so many different characters, but each one's significance is lessened in order to better focus on the premise.
Both films are about integrity and doing the right thing, but this one just says it a bit differently.
It's funny, because as the film tries so hard to be deeper, the characters become less so. They're all just as likable, but the dynamics just aren't as strong.
As a stand alone film, Barbershop 2 isn't bad at all. In fact, it's quite enjoyable. The jokes won't really leave you rolling in the aisles, but there is plenty of smile-worthy dialogue. The content means well and provides us with the similar warmth that the first one gives us. A little less cool, Barbershop 2 can pride itself on at least giving us another taste of what made the first one so special without tarnishing anything.
Twizard Rating: 74
a clever-enough follow-up to the smash-hit comedy
this time the barbershop in Chicago faces tough competition from a new rival barbershop opening across the street and theirs is in danger of being shut down forever to make way for new land developments
Calvin and the others struggle to cope with their own dilemmas from love to finances to making the community about the people, not profit
progress is a stepping stone but it has the potential to drive people away, this family in this barbershop has become something much more than cutting people's hair
Eddie also gets more of a backstory this time with the race riots of the 60's setting as a backdrop for how he became the way he did
we also have loveable newcomers like Queen Latifah and Kenan Thompson
the humor keeps on coming and the warm, fuzzy moments shine ever so brightly
Calvin's neighborhood has recently been flocked with investors trying to modernize the area. A rival barbershop is scheduled to move across the street that sounds amazing. Calvin and his workers will try to do as much customer appreciation events to prevent his customers from leavings; but as the store get closer to opening, it appears Calvin will go out of business.
"It's better to cut once and measure ten times then measure once and cut ten times."
Kevin Rodney Sullivan, director of Guess Who, Conviction, Father Lefty, America's Dream, and Moe's World, delivers Barbershop 2. The storyline for this picture is just okay and fairly straightforward but has some funny lines here and there. The acting is mediocre and the cast includes Ice Cube, Michael Ealy, Cedric the Entertainer, and Eve.
"The money isn't bad plus the money isn't bad."
I came across this on Netflix and decided to finally see it. This was okay and likely as good as Beauty Shop but a step down from the first Barbershop. I recommend seeing this if you liked the first one but with lower expectations.
"The last woman you slept with was battery operated."