Ice Cube was in a reflective mood Wednesday night at the world premiere of MGM-New Line’s “Barber Shop: The Next Cut” — a dozen years after “Barber Shop 2: Back in Business.”
He admitted that the third film in the comedy franchise addresses the far more serious issue of gang violence along with the usual barber-shop banter.
“We wanted to deal with the real situation on the South Side of Chicago,” Cube said as he introduced the film at the TCL Chinese Theatre.
Common, who plays one of the barbers, echoed that sentiment on the red carpet, saying, “I’m from Chicago, and this movie is really relevant to what’s going on.”
Screenwriters Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver said it was crucial to find a way to reflect the current crisis, but have still make the jokes land.
“This had to be a little darker than the other two,” Barris noted.
Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Jazsmin Lewis, Sean Patrick Thomas and Eve have been in all three films. Eve said the new film reflects her character’s journey, adding, “What I liked best about this one was the evolution of my character over 13 years was realistic.”
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Director Malcolm Lee opined that the performers provided him with massive amounts of comedy, thanks to fast-paced back-and-forth dialogue. “We had so much material to work with so we left a lot on the cutting room,” he noted.
Deon Cole singled out Common for one scene: “He was talking about what’s going on in the community and it was so powerful that when Malcolm said ‘cut’ we were all like ‘Wooo-weeee.'”
Cube said he believes that opening the film on April 15 — widely recognized as the tax deadline day — will work to the film’s advantage: “People are going to feel like ‘Let’s go see a funny movie.'”