Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Cast: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Common
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
It’s been more than 10 years since our last appointment at Calvin’s Barbershop. Calvin (Ice Cube) and his longtime crew, including Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), are still there, but the shop has undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, our once male-dominated sanctuary is now co-ed. The ladies bring their own flavor, drama and gossip to the shop challenging the fellas at every turn. Despite the good times, big laughs and camaraderie within the shop, the surrounding community has taken a turn for the worse, forcing Calvin and his friends to come together in an effort to not only save the shop, but their neighborhood.
Important Notice: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The third chapter in the franchise and the first entry in 12 years, ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ rejoins the folks at Calvin Jr.’s Barbershop including Calvin (Cube) himself, Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), Terri (Eve) and more, along with some newcomers including the newly added section of the shop where the women hairstylists now do their thing, the two locations having formed a joint venture for their mutual benefit. Fed up with the increasing violence and gang activity occurring in their hometown of Chicago, as Calvin’s own teenage son seems to be eyed by the local gangs for recruitment, Calvin and his crew decide to try and do something about it themselves, even if it involves delving into potentially dangerous territory.
Directed by newcomer to the franchise Malcolm D. Lee (Undercover Brother) from a script written by Kenya Barris (TV’s Blackish) and Tracy Oliver (TV’s Survivor’s Remorse), Lee does a solid job at the helm of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ perfectly capturing the tone of the series in the latest installment. The film also features a collection of new and returning cast members this time around including Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Common, Eve, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Sean Patrick Thomas, J.B. Smoove, Lamorne Morris, Deon Cole, Troy Garity and more, the majority of which deliver capable performances at the very least in each of their respective roles.
‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ returns fans to the franchise that originated in 2002 and the latest entry just may be the best yet. Bringing back many of the beloved characters from the first films (although some key characters such as Michael Ealy’s Ricky are unexplainably absent) even if a number of them are limited to a brief scene or two, in addition to introducing a number of new individuals to the series which all fit quite perfectly into the mix. The film delivers another enjoyable experience with Calvin Jr. and his crew and manages to capture the heart and tone of the prior entries, as well as delivering a fair number of laughs. It also tackles some important real life issues which it manages to accomplish with a surprising amount of strength, even daring to delve into some more painful moments amidst the laughs. Any fan of the previous two entries in the franchise will definitely want to be sure to check out ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ when they have the opportunity to do so and even those who may not have caught the first two films should have no trouble following the storyline.
Overall, ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ is a worthy entry to the franchise and quite possibly also the most impressive yet. Capably guided this time around by Malcolm D. Lee and featuring a collection of returning individuals and newcomers including Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Common, Eve and many more. ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ delivers a healthy supply of laughs while also tackling some powerful and important issues and the end result is a surprisingly fantastic film that any fan of the franchise definitely won’t want to miss out on.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and clean presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults to be found within; holding up wonderfully even during the few darkly lit and/or heavily populated sequences in the film. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that for the most part should please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a consistently crisp, clean and more than adequate audio presentation. It’s certainly not an overly active track, although it does utilize all five available channels on a few occasions in order to send the music the music throughout the speakers, as well as contributing some general ambience and crowd chatter. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’ includes a few enjoyable extras. Included on the release is a Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘The Next Cup: Barbershop Boot Camp’ which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew and a behind the scenes look at the preparation for their roles in the film (running approximately 5 minutes in length), in addition a number of ‘Deleted Scenes with Director Malcolm D. Lee’ (approximately 13 minutes in length altogether), and a ‘Gag Reel’ (2 minutes).