Barbershop 3: A Modern-Day Parable is Truly "A Cut Above"
Barbershop: A Cut Above
Way back in 2002 we were all treated to a day of mid-level hilarity in the life of a barbershop on the south side of Chicago. Calvin (Ice Cube), had some time back inherited the struggling business from his deceased father, but now he sees the shop as nothing more than a colossal waste of his time. However, after selling the shop to a local loan shark, he begins to realize that he’s made a mistake and seeks to get it back, learning a valuable life lesson in the process.
Barbershop: The Next Cut (DVD)
Then, two years later (in ‘04), we stopped in on Calvin’s Barbershop once again, this time to find that he is still struggling to keep his father’s shop and traditions alive; this time against urban developers who are looking to replace mom & pop establishments in the neighborhood with name-brand chains. Once again, Calvin and his fellow cutters stand their ground against change (gentrification) and effect a positive change for the neighborhood.
Well, just recently — even though It’s been more than a decade since our last appointment at Calvin’s Barbershop — we are surprised and gladdened to discover that he and the rest of his crew are still there. Needless to say, those years have caused the shop to have undergone some major changes. Most noticeably, the once entirely male-dominated sanctuary has gone co-ed. That’s right, in order to keep his shop afloat, Calvin has merged the location with the beauty shop next door. Now, the ladies are bringing with them their own flavor, drama and gossip to the shop; which — naturally enough — challenging the macho guys at basically every turn.
The World is is a Vampire
However, despite the good times and camaraderie that has developed within the shop (yes, even between the men and women), the surrounding community has, yet again, taken a turn for the worse. The neighborhood has gotten darker and more dangerous, with armed members of a pair of warring gangs each claiming their “territory” of the now mean streets. This constant conflict, and the City Council appearing to turn its back on the neighborhood for the sake of political convenience, Calvin once again finds himself on the precipice of a decision. Should he sell the shop and move his family to a safer neighborhood, or once again attempt to use his influence to try and resurrect what could be a lost cause. So now the crew needs to make some big decisions, to come together to not only save the shop, but their neighborhood, or to all determine if it is all still worth it and simply walk away.
It is Time to Save the World
Well, to be sure, 15 years do make something of difference. While we do recall that there were some sensitive, learning moments in the first pair of films, we couldn’t help but to notice that this one seemed to be more about the drama and lessons learned than about the comedic elements that made up the first film. Sure, sure there were light-hearted moments in this film, but given the state of the world in the past decade, Ferguson, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and all the other Black men who have been gunned down by the police. The world has become a dark and dangerous place, especially for young Black men, and this film, more so than its predecessors, has chosen to address some of those issues.
It's all About the Kids
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2016 Robert J Sodaro