Projections - Movie Reviews

Friday After Next

The third of the "Friday" movies gets a naughty cup of Christmas cheer as rapper/actor Ice Cube re-teams with Mike Epps as Craig and his cousin Day-Day in the neatly titled Friday After Next.

The actor and co-producer again collaborates with DJ Pooh on the script and characters from back in 1995 after which the original struck gold in ancillary reviews.  It stays true to how these comedies from the hood evolved as a diversion from all those gangster movies.

Cube's Craig Jones is in a similar state as the low-key, against type character seen recently in the estimable ensemble comedy, Barbershop.  Here, Cube and Pooh work in a "Twas the night before Christmas" and Grinch element in the opening before the credits roll in cartoon fashion.

The elemental storyline has Craig and his slow, yet high-strung cousin meeting with the cops,  family, and store owners as the action moves between their Shady Palm apartment complex and the strip mall.  It all leads to a wild nutcracker of a house party as they work to avoid eviction from a "lined" angry apartment manager Mrs. Pearl (BeBe Drake) who has a brawny bully of a son, Damon (Terry Crews), who is in some of the film's more crowd-pleasing scenes.

Director Marcus Raboy works consistently with Ice Cube to keep the mean spirited, puerile humor and action well paced, enough to spawn another "Friday" picture.  Perhaps, a more amiable tone could be introduced next time while retaining some of the comic appeal such as having LA's finest acting up like Cheech & Chong.

Friday After Next

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