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It’s been almost 12 years since Barbershop 2: Back In Business was released. During this time the pleas for a third instalment to the franchise have been nearly non-existent. But, lo and behold, Barbershop 3 has been in the works, and now we’ve got our very first peek at what the comedy will look like.
Barbershop: The Next Cut is almost certainly not going to win the franchise any new fans, but from the look of the returning actors, and the injection of new blood in this trailer, it should easily have enough to placate those who were amused by the original.
The Next Cut looks to merge together the first two Barbershop films with the world of the Queen Latifah -ed spin-off, Beauty Shop. Since both Calvin’s Barbershop and the Beauty Shop were struggling, the owners decided to knock down the wall separating them to make one larger establishment.
Obviously, the film will see the male and female characters clash in a comical fashion due to their own array of dramas, but rather than simply being a catch-up with the likes of Ice Cube’s Calvin Palmer, Cedric The Entertainer’s Eddie, and Anthony Anderson’s AD, there is a serious hook to The Next Cut’s plot, too.
Proudly set in Chicago's South Side, the film also tackles the rising level of violence in the Windy City. Now I’m all for films trying to explore serious issues, but it remains to be seen whether Barbershop: The Next Cut can merge its comedic sensibilities and tone with such weighty subject matter. I’m skeptical, but I have to admit that the trailer’s gag that focuses on a shooting just outside the barbershop does feature a smile-inducing moment from Cedric The Entertainer.
Fans of 2002’s Barbershop and its follow-up will know that Cedric’s Eddie was probably the key component in the franchise’s success – the original’s $77 million gross came from a $12 million budget, while its follow-up managed $65 million from a $30 million cost.
Stars of the original, Ice Cube, Cedric, Queen Latifah, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Anthony Anderson, are joined by a host of new actors, including Nicki Minaj – who unsurprisingly features prominently in the above trailer as the films attempts to create an early buzz – Selma’s Common, Think Like A Man’s Regina Hall, New Girl’s Lamonrne Morris, and the rapper Tyga even makes an appearance.
With such a long gap between its April 15, 2016, release date and that of its predecessor, it will be interesting to see exactly how Barbershop: The Next Cut fares in cinemas. But having been cleverly cast, and with a plot that focuses on modern concerns, it might just do better than you’d think.