2000; Rated R; 93 Minutes
Ice Cube: Craig Jones
Mike Epps: Day-Day
Justin Pierce: Roach
John Witherspoon: Mr. Jones
Don 'D.C.' Curry: Uncle Elroy
Produced by Matt Alvarez, Ice Cube, Douglas Curtis,
Michael Gruber and Claire Rudnick Polstein; Directed
by Steven Carr; Screenwritten by Ice Cube and
by DAVID KEYES
has been four years since the nightmare that is "Friday"
was unleashed upon millions of unsuspecting humans. Now
comes "Next Friday," a sequel that manages to be even more
painful than its predecessor, and will likely succeed at
the box office just as well. January traditionally clues
us in one what to expect in the remaining year as far as
movies are concerned, and if this is one of those indications,
the apocalypse might not be that far off as we suspect.
to his cinematic roots is rapper Ice Cube, who has proven
with his newer efforts that it is possible for rap artists
to find further success in the movies. After "Friday" in
1995 came "Anaconda," a decidedly-silly creature feature
that boasted some decent physical performances from both
he and costar Jennifer Lopez. Until recently, Cube's film
career had seemingly halted--then out from nowhere came
the smart and visual "Three Kings," in which he starred
alongside Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney as a Desert Storm
soldier in search of a large gold stash deep in the Middle
East. The movie, strangely enough, showcased Cube's unforeseen
dramatic capabilities, offering us a glimpse into a potentially
bright future. But who says that actors learn from their
Friday" is a miscalculation in every sense of the word--a
lame, moronic, belligerent and shallow comedy that is never
funny, never intellectual, and almost always offensive.
By asking any audience to revisit the cheaply-produced slums
that helped establish his career back in 1995, Ice Cube
loses complete sight of a vivid future in Hollywood. His
movie avoids even the simplest notions of success; it's
like watching a great big pile of reject videos from one
of those high school talent show tryouts.
be surprised how few the similarities are between this movie
and its predecessor. The picture begins with one of the
dumbest jokes in general comedies: a sudden conflict arises
when a man trips, falls, and is met at the ground by dog
excrement. Ice Cube plays Craig Jones, and his uncle is
the unfortunate victim to this detestable accident, which
leaves him smelling like the newspaper at the base of a
liter box. How odd that that he never changes clothes afterwards,
and uses an aerosol can throughout the movie to help cover
up the stench.
the entire film takes place in one day, the plot confines
its characters to many narrative limitations. Among these
problems is the introduction of a Chicano family, neighbored
by Craig's uncle in the 'burbs; once they are briefly introduced,
a hostility generates between them and Craig, which, sad
to say, results in one long dialogue exchange after another,
featuring about two clean words and half-a-dozen other slurs
between both arguing sides. The fact that the next-door
family deals with drugs merely hazes the real issue here,
and at the end of all these stupid battles (not to mention
some minor, in-between subplots), Craig announces that he
loves Fridays. But for what reason? Are they an excuse to
be rude, obnoxious and sexist?
tend to make violent outbursts at the sight of movies like
this; it seems so unfair that writers would be willing to
expose a viewer to such horrible characterizations like
these, especially when the players entertain themselves
by slamming ethnic groups, and indulging in sexist behavior
(many of the women in the film are referred to merely as
"hoes" and "bitches"). "Friday" was at least able to provoke
anger with all of these dreadful aspects, but "Next Friday"
is filmed at such a dead and endless pace that surely even
the filmmakers on the set were yawning the entire time.
This may very well be the first film ever produced that
aims for ground zero, and misses.
minor technical and dramatic aspect is flawed, and the source
material is as gaudy as it is depressing. Written by Cube
himself, we get the feeling that no one bothered to request
a second draft of this screenplay, probably because the
very idea would scar Ice Cube's ego. Unfortunately, every
heated remark I make about this travesty will make the film
even more invulnerable to criticism, so I shall end my anger
here (is there any denying that the movie will be a box
office hit because of the name value?). In any case, let
the truth be known to whomever enters the theater--"Next
Friday" is the kind of movie that college film classes discuss
when on the topic of "what not to do during filmmaking."
David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.