Barbershop Review

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Calvin Palmer has inherited his father's barbershop, the social centre of his Chicago neighbourhood. But when he is offered a deal by the local hustler, who has diabolical plans for the place, he is tempted to betray his friends and close down the shop for good.

★★★★★

Barbershops in the UK are more often associated with Brylcreem and lengthy soliloquies on the state of the Premiership than raucous laughter and good times. That's apparently not the case in the Chicago projects - at least, according to this rambling comedy, in which Calvin (Ice Cube) must decide whether to put his community first, or follow his dreams and sell the shop that provides his neighbours with somewhere to hang out.

Cube is as likeable as ever, and the magnificently monikered Cedric The Entertainer is delightful as a particularly eccentric barber. But the script really should have been given a trim, as it tries to cram in so many characters that few are given the time and space to develop.

The film is also hampered by a woeful subplot, involving two inept crooks trying to break into a stolen ATM, that makes Home Alone 2 seem like a work of high art.

In a film where "community" is the main concern, the ensemble does a good job of keeping the dialogue engaging. But that subplot is a serious problem.