Friday After Next Review
By Shawn McKenzie 11/27/2002
I’m a big fan of the previous two Friday movies (I even defended the decision to go with Mike Epps when they couldn’t get Chris Tucker again), but Friday After Next is definitely the least funny of the three films.
Once again it's Friday, and this Friday is on Christmas Eve. Craig (Ice Cube) and his cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps) have moved out of the suburbs and back to the ghetto. Their day gets off badly when a crack addict thief dressed as Santa Claus (Rickey Smiley) breaks into their place and steals their presents and other stuff, including the speakers that have their rent money in them. Their downstairs landlord, Miss Pearly (Bebe Drake), tells them that they have by the end of the day to pay her or else she'll send Damon (Terry Crews), her recently released bodybuilding muscular inmate son who now likes men, on them. They think they might be okay, since they recently got jobs as low-level security guards for strip mall owner Moly (Maz Jobrani) whose line up of stores includes Bros. Bar-B-Q run by Craig's parents Willie (John Witherspoon) and Mrs. Jones (Anna Maria Horsford) and Day-Day's father, Uncle Elroy (Don "D.C." Curry), who has a new girlfriend named Cookie (Sommore.) Then there's the Pimp N' Ho's clothing store run by a short pimp Money Mike (Katt Williams), whose girlfriend, Donna (K.D. Aubert), attracts both Craig and Day-Day. They are supposed to report any funny business to local cops Dix (Reggie Gaskins) and Hole (Joel McKinnon Miller) who spend most of their time in the donut shop run by Moly and were the cops who arrived when Craig called them after the robbery (and proceeded to confiscate their weed plant.) Not long after starting their shift, Day-Day gets carried away with the job and his actions soon lead to run-ins with customers, thieves, and dangerous punks, which gets them in all sorts of trouble. They just want to get through the day so they can enjoy their Christmas party where people like Pinky (Clifton Powell) and other friends (including a few they made that day) show up to join in the holiday festivities.
This chapter of the Friday saga is funny, but not as funny as the other two movies. The thing that surprised me the most was Witherspoon. He usually steals every scene he is in, but in this one, he isn’t very funny. He’s almost a little annoying. The two local cops were funny, and so was Williams as the memorable if clichéd pimp. Crews does a good job of filling in the role of Tom 'Tiny' Lister Jr.’s Deebo character from the first two movies (by the way, why didn’t they bring back Deebo? It doesn’t look like Lister’s career is exploding like Chris Tucker’s!) I still think Epps is a funny replacement for Tucker.
Friday After Next has a huge been-there-done-that feel. Once again they use the line “You got knocked the f*** out,” made famous by Tucker in the first movie (in fact, they say it twice here!) As much as I like the Friday movies, I think it’s time to put this franchise to rest. Ice Cube has proven that he can have success with other projects like Barbershop (which I haven’t seen yet, but has made $75 million as of this writing and a sequel is in the works.) I think he can finally move on to another day.
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