It’s not normally a good idea to enter a franchise at the third installment (or fourth if you count the spin off – Beauty Shop), but in the case of Barbershop: The Next Cut (Or Barbershop: A Fresh Cut as it’s known in the UK), I simply hadn’t encountered these films before. All I really knew about them was that they cover socially sensitive topics in a humourous way, and they’re set in a barbershop. That doesn’t sound like a riveting premise, but the setting for a film doesn’t matter if the characters and the script are good, which is something you would expect from a film series now in it’s fourth installment.
Chicago is a city in the middle of a gang war. People seem to be dying every day for no reason, and because of that, business isn’t as good as it could be for Calvin’s Barbershop. While some of them seem to think that there’s nothing they can do to help, others take it on themselves to do whatever they can to turn things around for the community.
I could talk about how bad the acting is in this film when at least four of the main characters used to be musicians. I could talk about how a film that’s trying to encourage a message of acceptance makes distasteful jokes about race, gender and sexuality. I could talk about the horrible stereotypes that are peddled in this film. I could talk about a script that’s had so little care put into it that it feels like a first draft of a first draft. I could talk about dialogue that’s so poor it feels like it’s said between characters on a cereal box. I could talk about the supposedly serious moments that are played so poorly that they’re cringe worthy. The thing is, none of these things matter compared to my biggest issue with this film.
There’s a conversation between two characters, in which one of them is actively defending paedophilia. It’s not played as a joke, and hes not a character we’re meant to dislike, he’s simply a man who doesn’t think that paedophilia is that bad. Nobody questions him on this, and nobody argues against him. That was the moment this film turned from simply being a lazy sequel into a deplorable piece of garbage that I was I hadn’t had to sit through.
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