I know, I know, most of us were kind of surprised to find another Barbershop movie how many years later. I for one thought the franchise was dead, and well after Beauty shop I figured it should be. But they did do it again and I am really glad they did. Here’s why.
I pause here to add an obligatory spoiler alert.
We know Barbershop has always been a social commentary on the state of the American Black community. It gives the grassroots dialogue not of politicians and big business, but of small folks, living normal lives and their perspectives on the world around them. So is it really any shock that in such a tumultuous time in U.S. economics and race relations that this franchise has come back to life?
No. Not it isn’t.
A New Perspective. This time around, Clavin Jr’s has joined forced with Angie and her hair salon. Which means, that the original man cave has now become home to some not men, and no Terry did not count as the female voice of the people. This serves not only as an opportunity for them to address the state of American economics, politics and culture, but by having women present, allow them to share their perspectives. Not that this changes much. Some might want to raise a glass for progress but, I’m not so sure that the male and female though on most current issues are that far apart. And that I think is a better thing to realize than the fact that there may be vaginas present.As such the only issues that get illuminated, solely because the women are there, are the ones of male/female interaction.
Issues like the unrealistic expectations of women men seem to keep. The ongoing battle between “the hoes and the good girls”. Infidelity and body “enhancements”. Did they need it? Yes, but only because the “boys in the hood” talking hood has been done, over done and done some more. New faces and voices are always good when we have had a decade to stew in the sameness of the Barbershop.
It was Funny. They revised the Know-it-all character by splitting him in two, making one half Indian, and making them both millennials. You know? As in folks with the benefit of all the knowledge of google, a whopping sense of optimistic entitlement, an only academic idea of “the struggle”, being eloquent but a bit clueless. It gives for a lighter tone in some places, and a face palm or two in others.
We also get a few hijinks. I’m now sure we in the Caribbean aren’t the only ones who thought a messed up hair do would be reasonable punishment or attitude adjustment tool. To steal a line, “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.”
And so we got the laughs. Because, well, that’s life, even when we wade the waters of shit creek because not only did we not start with a paddle but the boat sprung a leak and sank, we still find a reason to laugh.
Familiar antagonists. While some of us would have us believe that the bad guys in this movie were the gang bangers who force Cal and the crew to action, I beg to differ. Yeah there was some gun play and a bit of posturing but that really is all there was to that. Even though a death resulted from the gang banging, it wasn’t the same as seeing a pivital banger do the shooting. does that make sense?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that instead of making all the bad emanate from one source we got it, and different aspects of it from a number of different places. It was more organic I think, more life-y.
Relevant and Intelligent. This move made statement after statement after statement. All of the relevant to the time period in which we live, the virtual life we live, just every damn thing we do today. But it did it in a way that was not intrusive, it did not seek to force it’s ideologies on us, it just was. It didn’t even state that these were the statements being made in an obvious way. What I am trying to say is, it did not assume it had an audience of idiots. Even as there were some simply expository moments in the thing, we didn’t feel like we were being preached to. I appreciated that. I hate a pretentious movie.
I’ll give this movie an 8/10. It made me feel like I was hanging out with friends. You know the kind of friend who you can just sit around and chat with, and sometimes it gets really deep and sometimes it’s just all fun and laughs and all that. I like that feeling, I miss it. As a matter of fact if any of my friends are reading this, I wouldn’t mind a domino, beer and chill night.
What am I saying? “Wouldn’t mind”? That’s just me not wanting to look like I’m begging in front of all these people. I absolutely crave it. Come get me guys, seriously. Please.