Barbershop 2: Back in Business
Ice Cube and company are back in a sauntering yet scrappy comedy about the gentrification of urban neighborhoods and the struggle of mom and pop businesses to survive an onslaught of corporate elbowing. Calvin Palmer’s shop on Chicago’s South Side is home to a sense of community and a constant stream of chatter that ranges from brisk petty squabbling to provocative social commentary (such as one take on the Washington, D.C., sniper as the “Jackie Robinson of crime”). The development of a Nappy Cutz franchise directly across the street threatens the livelihood and roosting spots of Calvin and his adjustable-chair philosophers in a story that plays sort of like a smarter, hipper, African-American cousin to the extended Mayberry residents on TV’s The Andy Griffith Show. Cedric the Entertainer steals many scenes as the resident 1960s soul-brother elder.