Bill I’s Rating – 3.5 out of 5
I enjoyed this film greatly, better than Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, which covers the same territory – how to slow down the gang violence in Chicago. It has a perfect mix of comedy and seriousness. I remember almost nothing from the prior Barbershop films, but Ice Cube remains as the owner and spiritual leader of the crew, with Cedric the Entertainer and a great crew of character actors cutting heads among other things. The shop has a female side now, which gives great balance to the macho bullshit being slung around. Nikki Minaj is delightful and proves she’s more than just an awesome butt. The threat of violence gets personal when Cube’s 14 year old son, and his buddy, son of Common’s character, get drawn into the gangster life. The movie avoids simplistic logic of who is to blame, and they conclude that only the South Side community can save themselves and stop the escalating gun deaths. It’s ultimately an uplifting movie, while raising very topical issues. Oh, and I can’t end without mentioning one of my favorite comic actors, JB Smoove, who does his thing, as “One-Stop”, the barber who has a bunch of side businesses.