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Volume 68, Issue 14, Friday, September 13, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Cube's latest ads laughs in latest film

By Linda Patlán
The Daily Cougar

Yes, it's true. Ice Cube is back. Along with Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas (Save the Last Dance) and Eve in her feature film debut (minus her walk-on role in XXX), the rapper/actor stars in the new comedy Barbershop. The title doesn't leave much to the imagination as to what the film is about, but I'll clarify a few things.

Directed by Tim Story, we have Calvin (Ice Cube) who inherited his late father's struggling urban barbershop in Chicago. The key word is struggling. In lieu of that, Calvin, also an aspiring producer, decides to sell the barbershop to a local loan shark. Only until Calvin makes the deal does he realize the importance the barbershop has in his neighborhood.

OK, have I spoiled the film for you? Didn't think so.

In Ice Cube's latest comedy Barbershop, Terri, played by rapper/actress Eve, prepares to confront Kevin, played by Jason George.

Tracy Bennett/Metro-Goldwyn Mayer

As a major motion picture, there seems to be very little motion and it appears more as a picture or film about the urban African-American scene, which the public does not seem to witness on screen all too often. This is where Barbershop truly shines.

As a comedic ensemble, the characters are quite eclectic as they range from the not-so-traditional veteran philosopher Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), strong female Terri (Eve), two-strikes-against-him Ricky (Michael Ealy) and the educated Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas).

The movie itself is a safe comedy, but the happenings within the barbershop get heated and controversial when things start buzzing about who drank Terri's apple juice or what makes a black person black. The audience sees the diversity in opinions and perspectives that make up the African-American community easily. 

Writer Mark Brown (Two Can Play That Game) provides a simple yet enjoyable film. Although, after watching the film for the first half hour, I wondered why the character Calvin seemed so familiar. Then it dawned on me.

Here we have a son who inherited his father's business and must give up his own dreams. Then, of course, the evil businessman and the loan shark may be his only way to sell out. Hmm ... perhaps Mark Brown watched It's a Wonderful Life one Christmas.

However, do not expect Calvin's neighbors to help him out at the end. This time, Calvin has to figure out his own destiny.

As a comedy, the humor follows the lines of the slapstick routines and one liners. There are plenty of subjects to be touched in this film, and it makes a purpose of doing so. Cedric the Entertainer, however, steals the show, never missing a chance to make audiences laugh.

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