Next Friday Review

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In a bid to stay out of trouble Craig abandons his LA homies and moves to his Uncle's house in the suburbs…


The sequel to 1995's supposed "smash hit", Friday (which, it has to be said, did not exactly threaten Jurassic Park in the box-office record department), this cannily titled follow-up may have lost Chris Tucker - and thus a fair portion of comic zest - from its starting line-up, but it nonetheless retains enough affable charm to pull it through. Just about.

(Cool as) Ice Cube reprises his role as Craig, the, "Yo, bro!" boy from the 'hood who, despite taking, "No shit from no-one," still obeys daddy dearest's order to abandon the LA "homies" and move to his uncle's house in the suburbs, to enjoy a more trouble-free existence. If this all sounds more than a tad like Will Smith's Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, that's because, well, it is - right down to Craig's dippy cousin, Day-Day (Epps), and the inevitable scrapes in which the hapless pair become evermore embroiled.

Adhering to the standard sequel template Next Friday is undoubtedly inferior to its predecessor - itself no masterpiece - relying as it does far too heavily on the slapstick for its key source of humour. This may be primarily due to some largely lacklustre dialogue, but is further accentuated by a succession of increasingly lame supporting characters who tend to grate rather than amuse.

That said, the film is not entirely bereft of plus points. A witty credit sequence, occasionally effective set pieces (generally involving the antics of a neighbour's crazed pet pooch) and an assured performance from "the man" Cube - easily re-affirming his pole position in the rap/film star stakes.

An end product of watchable, if not overly enjoyable, knockabout nonsense.