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Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004)

Back in business.

Directed by:

Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 105 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

Country: United States

‘Barbershop 2’ isn’t the worst sequel I’ve ever seen, but it is one of the most pointless. The first flick, about the struggles of humble black businessman Calvin (Ice Cube) and his battle to keep his Chicago hair-snipper’s open in the face of financial woes, was a surprisingly enjoyable slice of light, sit-com-esque comedy. Unfortunately though, the producers couldn’t just quit while they were ahead. Nope, they had to cash in with this hurriedly-released follow-up, and transform a bunch of once-likable characters into an instant turn-off in the process.

As the title suggests, Calvin’s place is “back in business”, although “still in business” might be more appropriate given that it was never actually closed. The threat of closure still hangs in the air though, this time thanks to the corporate giants from “Nappy Cutz” who plan on opening a veritable hair-dressing hall of plenty right across the street.

As far as overall premise goes, that’s basically it – although, as with our last visit to Barbershop, the running time is padded out with various throw-away subplots (always with some sort of morale lesson to be learned at the end) and plenty of aimless banter from Calvin’s loud-mouthed members of staff.

The problem this time, though, is that the film just isn’t funny. The story never gets going, the dialogue is half-hearted and, in Calvin, we have a lead character who doesn’t actually DO anything. Sure, he’s a likable enough guy – but so is the bloke who cuts MY hair, and I don’t see anyone making a movie about him. We’re also force-fed more of Cedric the Entertainer’s mumbled and not-particularly-humorous rants than anyone should ever have to attempt to decipher. In a nutshell, the whole experience is a thankless and pretty boring task.

Hopefully this will be the last of the ‘Barbershop’ movies – after all, what could possibly threaten to put the shop out of business next time? Contrived Government legislation on minimum hair-length, perhaps? Or how about a price-hike in clippers? Nah, no thanks – this is a franchise that was best left as it was at the end of the first one.

It's Got: Customers who clearly don’t need their hair cut. Conveniently, we never get shown what exactly the barbers are doing to these people who come in already sporting shaven noggins.

It Needs: Someone to come up with an invention to prevent the hairs from falling down the back of your neck and making you spend the whole day itching. Hey, maybe THAT could be the plot of the third movie!!

Alternatives:

Barbershop, Nora's Hair Salon

Summary

This is a second hair-cut we didn’t need.

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