I HAD NEVER seen a Barbershop movie, and I'm not going to lie: I agreed to watch this one because Nicki Minaj is wearing American flag leggings on the poster. I am happy to report that (1) Nicki Minaj does wear those leggings in the movie and (2) this is a pretty decent movie!
Here's what I now know about the barbershop in Barbershop: The Next Cut: It's Calvin's Barbershop on Chicago's South Side, and it serves as a refuge in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood—a safe space where gangsters have to lock up their guns so they can shoot the shit with some friendly barbers. The Next Cut offers an admirable, earnest take on the street violence plaguing Chicago as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, and it's all interspersed with hilarious bickering about everything from reverse racism (not a thing!) to slut-shaming (don't!) to whether or not Obama's got a side-piece (some say... yes?).
The ensemble cast is excellent: Ice Cube is a great straight man, Nicki Minaj delightfully wears bras as shirts, Tyga is in there, and Lamorne Morris, who's been the best part of New Girl's last two seasons, steals every scene as basically the same character. Common even plays Ice Cube's best pal, and their cooperation on this film after the great East Coast-West Coast hip-hop battles of the '90s encapsulates the message of peace and progress that Barbershop lays on thick.
One could assume that I'm not the target demographic for this movie because I'm white, and Hollywood tells us movies with all-white casts are for everybody, but movies with all-black casts are just for black people. But B:TNC is good for everybody. It's funny, smart, and sincere without being corny. So like how Common and Ice Cube have grown, and like how Tyga and Nicki Minaj have moved on from their beef (they were feuding too!), it's time to get with the now, get some patriotic leggings, and get to a Barbershop.