Photo Credit: Hollywood.com
While sequels are rarely able to hold a candle to the original, it seems the third entry in the Barbershop franchise has managed to do just that. It’s been 12 years since Barbershop 2: Back in Business, and as the returning cast members are all obviously a dozen or so years older than they were, the plot of the new film is more “adult,” focusing heavily on the problem of gang violence.
When writers were tasked with bringing the film up-to-date, they decided to go political by facing the issues of gang violence and shootings in Chicago head-on, leaving aside the humorous cultural escapism — although that isn’t to say that the film is without humor.
LA Times reporter, Mark Olsen, writes that The Next Cut manages to be “entertaining and thoughtful, harmless fun but just serious enough not to seem frivolous.”
Mark sums it up by explaining, “This is not a great piece of filmmaking, but it’s good enough in a way that feels pleasant and even comforting. By being engaging but not too pointed, topical without being particularly provocative, the film is a sharply executed version of the warm and amiable movie it sets out to be.”
However, some feel it tries to push its message a little too hard. Adam Graham of the Detroit News notes that it “heavily preaches its anti-violence message,” adding that “it couldn’t be much more on-the-nose if it was a two-hour public service announcement.” Others, like the Chicago Times’ Katie Walsh, feel that, despite this, it is “wholesomely entertaining.”
Jeffrey M. Anderson of the San Francisco Examiner sums up the feeling of many critics, who have so far given a Tomatometer rating of 91% on the popular Rotten Tomatoes site:
“Like its predecessors, the third in the Barbershop series is rough around the edges, by turns funny, jubilant and sentimental, sometimes forced, but rarely phony.”