BARBERSHOP: Tim Story's BARBERSHOP is a lighthearted, crowd-pleasing romp that takes place over the course of one day in and around a South Side Chicago barbershop. The owner of the struggling establishment, Calvin (Ice Cube), presides over his raucous staff just as his father and grandfather did before him. There's the aging, politically incorrect Eddie (a show-stealing Cedric the Entertainer), the pretentious Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas), the ex-con Ricky (Michael Ealy), the fiery Terri (Eve), the white, unappreciated Isaac (Troy Garity), and the poetry-loving Dinka (Leonard Earl Howze). As the local police search for the criminals who stole an ATM from the deli across the street (the hysterically pathetic Anthony Anderson and Lahmard Tate), Calvin contemplates selling the barbershop to a menacing loan shark (Keith David). When it appears that a deal has been made, Calvin realizes the error of his ways and tries to rectify the situation before it's too late.
With BARBERSHOP, Ice Cube is well on his way to establishing another cinematic franchise (following in the steps of the FRIDAY series). Using the universally identifiable backdrop of a barbershop, the film bounces between drama and action and comedy with easy assurance. If ever there was a film that deserved a sequel, this is it.
BARBERSHOP 2: In this follow-up to the 2002 original, BARBERSHOP 2 reunites the same cast of characters for more fun and laughs. Ice Cube is the charming Calvin Palmer, one of South Side Chicago's most upstanding business owners. But when the nefarious Quentin Leroux (Harry Lennix) shows up across the street with the flashy, hip Nappy Cutz, Calvin's shop is in jeopardy once again. While contending with his constantly bickering staff of barbers (Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Troy Garity, Michael Ealy, and Leonard Earl Howze), Calvin must also decide whether or not to take a payoff from the slimy Alderman Brown (Robert Wisdom).
Director Kevin Rodney Sullivan and screenwriter Don D. Scott open their sequel with a heartwarming ode to the major figures in African-American culture over the past fifty years. But while the film retains that spirit, it doesn't forget the tricks that made the first BARBERSHOP such a smash hit. Cedric the Entertainer's hilarious Eddie gets much more screen time, including a flashback that explains why he will always be welcome in Calvin's shop. There's also Gina (Queen Latifah), Calvin's fiery ex, who runs the beauty shop next door, and who is well on her way to becoming a screen franchise of her very own.