This third trip to Calvin’s barbershop is a surprisingly effective lecture on the modern woes of urban life—gangs, violence—without sacrificing the laughs that make such a two-hour sermon palatable. The male-dominated shop has changed a lot in a decade—it’s now co-ed—but the resulting experience is not unsatisfactory. Malcolm D. Lee, a fresh filmmaker for the franchise, is able to balance the sitcom gags with the serious messages that should be delivered by Keenen Ivory Wayans’ Don’t Be a Menace mailman.
Ice Cube may not be as talented an actor as his son, but his charisma is undeniable. The rest of the ensemble ranges from hilarious (Cedric the Entertainer is particularly on fleek) to surprisingly appealing (I may now be a Nicki Minaj apologist) to sort of disappointing (J.B. Smoove needed more than his character, One-Stop, has to offer).
If the new Barbershop does one thing, hopefully it will be to elevate the profile of “New Girl”’s Lamorne Morris. I would immediately make an appointment for a rom-com spinoff featuring Morris’ Jerrod and Margot Bingham’s Bree.
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