By Don Guillory
I had reservations about the new Barbershop when I discovered that it was in production and set for release. My concern was that much like the Friday franchise, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth due to stale jokes, recycled plots, and characters I couldn’t get too invested in. I was wrong in my outlook for the film. Barbershop: The Next Cut surpasses the previous films of the series in its humor, fresh jokes, new characters and social relevance.
There are some aspects of the film that mirror past plotlines, but that is not a problem or concern this go-around. Life and history are cyclical and it is demonstrated through the way that Barbershop takes on urban violence and the communities that suffer through it. The film itself will have audiences laughing and gasping for air due to the imaginative and creative comedy, however, it will also cause its audiences to think deeply about the issues being presented. When we see the violence of the Southside of Chicago via the news or social media, it seems so distant. This film sucks us in to thinking about the circumstances the people of this community face daily. It doesn’t pull punches or present the information from one singular source and perspective. They are concerned with creating a dialogue about what is taking place in communities much like the one represented in their neighborhood. You see heart. You see connections between people. You see individuals that want to make a change by improving the lives of their neighbors and friends. You see humanity with all of its flaws and potential. This film is a poignant love letter to communities in need of healing.
It is also an examination of how to heal and mend gaping wounds. Barbershop: The Next Cut establishes a connection with its audience to start a dialogue and potentially move forward with action.