Next Friday

In 1995, Friday came and went from the theaters relatively quickly. No one seemed to notice, until it hit video stores. Then, Friday became a hit, helping, among other things, to launch the career of Chris Tucker (The Fifth Element, Rush Hour). It is no surprise that there is now a sequel to capitalize on the popularity of the first movie. This time, the movie is Next Friday. Tucker is now too expensive, but Ice Cube is back as Craig, but this time he is out of the 'hood and off to Rancho Cucamonga. As in many sequels, Next Friday is not as good as the first. It shifts from slightly amusing to boring, and thankfully is short.

Craig (Cube, Three Kings, The Player's Club) moves to Rancho Cucamonga because Debo (Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr, The Fifth Element, The Player's Club), the bully Craig beat at the end of Friday, broke out of prison. Debo is coming for Craig, and Craig's dad Mr. Jones (John Witherspoon, Ladie's Man, Little Nicky) decides to move Craig in with Craig's Uncle Elroy (Don Curry, Crazy 4 Love, The Chris Rock Show). Elroy won the lottery and left to Rancho Cucamonga, where he could live in peace with his son Day-Day (comedian Mike Epps). What follows is essentially a string of short stories that, aside from the language and drug use, would feel right at home on the WB. Throughout the movie, essentially every character lights up weed, and it feels like Cube's script is under the same influence.

Debo tries to trick Mr. Jones into driving him to Craig. Someone smokes weed. Craig and Day-Day clash with their Latino gang-banger neighbors while Craig falls in love with their sister. Someone smokes weed. Day-Day and a friend light up at work. Day-Day's pregnant girlfriend tries to pin the pregnancy on him. Cube is usually more of a commanding presence in movies. Here, he wanders his way from one situation from the next. Epps is like Tucker slower and with a deeper voice, but he is amusing. Day-day is basically a wimp. Epps plays him as constantly whining, and always unsure of himself. Oddly enough, in the movie, there is only one white person. In Rancho Cucamonga? Please. The story switches the setting from the inner city to the suburbs without changing anything else. Now, the characters have toys that are more expensive and there is less violence, but everything else is the same. There is, of all things, a cussing elderly Asian woman (Amy Hill). It did not work in Lake Placid, and it does not work here. For everyone who waited for Friday to come out on video before watching it, here is another movie to wait (hopefully a long time) for.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 29 minutes, Rated R for strong language, drug use, and sexual content.

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