Barbershop 2: Back In Business

Barbershop 2: Back In Business


Reviewed by: Sobhano

Back In Business: The Second Haircut is a moderately diverting slice-of-life comedy, set in the less salubrious surrounds of a Chicago suburb, shot largely on handheld steadicam. Much of the action is staged in the quaintly dated barber shop of the title, wherein each chair sprouts ever larger-than-life characters, who play out their ceaseless, uninteresting rivalries.

The camera bounces around from one staged encounter to the next, until you start feeling curiously seasick from the clumsy breaks and wandering pan shots. Segueing from limp laughs and half made comic encounters, the dialogue rattles to the sound of faux-authenticity, peppered with street slang and numerous references to black social issues, which are glossed over so easily that the effect is blurred and pretentious.

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The back story is a meandering tale of small businessman Calvin Jr's (Ice Cube) struggle to face down a multinational hairdressing franchise, called Nappy Cuts, that has decided to open up across the road. Between forays into the everyday dilemmas of the ordinary folk, who staff the barber shop, we are subjected to the schmaltz-laden vignette of a good man's temptation by the dark forces of commercial avarice.

The see-sawing storylines hang gracelessly around the central figure of Calvin. As played by Ice Cube, he is a passive and wooden contrast to the eccentricities of his employees. We are expected to believe that this expressionless performance signifies maturity, vision and stability in a crazy old world that works against the little man. Instead, you wonder at Ice Cube's trajectory from the baddest rapper on the block to middle-aged sitcom actor in the space of two decades.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2004
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Barbershop 2: Back In Business packshot
Ice Cube returns as the neighbourhood barber - this time facing multinational competition in Chicago.
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Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Writer: Don D Scott

Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Queen Latifah

Year: 2004

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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