by Shelby Jones
New Line Cinema presents a CUBEVISON Production
Written by Ice Cube and Directed by Steve Carr
Starring Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Tamala Jones, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., Lisa Rodriguez and Sticky Fingaz
The sequel, the sequel, the sequel, the sequel… It doesn't have Chris Tucker? Who is Mike Epps? Regina
King isn't in it? What, Bernie Mac isn't in it? Maaaannnn, I'm not gonna see it until it's at
Blockbuster! In the words of DJ Kool, "hold up, wait a minute." Don't believe the naysayers hype.
Go and see Next Fridaytoday because things in the hood just went suburban. Yes, Next
Fridayis funny. Yes, you will quote lines from the film. Yes, you will love Mike Epps,
Ice Cube, Witherspoon, and wait until you hear Don "DC" Curry spit out the line, "but I'm your
Uncle Elroy" in that classic rising southern baritone. Next Fridaywill appear in theaters
throughout the U.S. on January 12th, and it is guaranteed to keep its title as the reigning King of
urban comedy. This one is packaged Rancho Cucamonga style with a little Latino flava for ya.
Ok, I will admit, with trepidation, that it doesn't pack the same punching power of the original
Friday, but the laugh factor is strong. But really, how many times have you wondered which
one is better - Godfather Part I or Godfather Part II?Same question, different movie.
Oh yes, and when it does arrive at your local video store, it won't be long before you grab it for
your collection. Trust me on that one.
After winning the lottery, Craig's uncle, Elroy Jones, (Curry) moves to Rancho Cucamonga with son Dede,
and his lustful Sugar, who can't stop licking Craig. Craig (Ice Cube) who, despite his objections, has to
flee south central because word on the street was Debo (Lister) was bustin outta the joint with his little
brother Tyrone (Fingaz). And mission number one for Debo is a rematch with Craig. Craig and his dad Mr
. Jones(Witherspoon) decide that Rancho Cucamonga is the best option for Craig's survival. Meanwhile,
Mr. J is all too happy to have Craig out of the house so he and his wife can "get busy on that
shag-rug." Once Craig arrives in Cucamonga, every obstacle to a normal suburban life jumps up and shouts,
welcome to the burbs, wouldn't you rather be in the hood? Oddly, everything is not really Craig's
fault. For example, there are Mexican gangsters, bills, dogs, and all sorts of twists and turns that
await Craig, Dede, and a white kid named Roach. Hmmm,…why do they call him Roach? Thanks to some savvy
filmmaking, and solid comedic acting, Next Friday takes you on a nice ride through the wild,
crazy and sometimes 'dangerous ground' of Rancho Cucamonga.
Of course the big question plaguingNext Friday was the fact that Chris Tucker was not going to
co-star. I was even concerned about whether or not Cube & Epps could pull off the dynamic duo power
created by Cube & Tucker. As soon as the film began, I was taken in and the actors & actresses
delivered. Here's a snapshot:
- Ice Cube as Craig - more versatile, livelier and more believable as the film's hero.
- Mike Epps as Dede - brings us his unique comedic styles, voices and physical acting and does a fine
job of filling the huge vacuum left by Tucker.
- John Witherspoon as Mr. Jones - absolutely one of the funniest actors of the film; he has taken the
character of Craig's dad and made him unforgettable.
- Don "DC" Curry as Uncle Elroy - delivered lines in that unique rising southern baritone, while adding
maturity and foolishness with one fell swoop.
- Lisa Rodriguez as Karla - gorgeous, curvaceous, and sexy without revealing her body; newcomer
Rodriguez provides a warm feel to the film. Lookout for her.
- Tommy "Tiny" Lister as Debo - whether chasing Craig, or screaming at anyone, Lister brings Debo to
life and this time, Debo's mad as hell.
This film rocks, rolls and delivers a Roy Jones like punch! Pretty soon, the Don Mega, aka Ice Cube,
will soon be "pushin films like weight." Much like his music career, Ice Cube is building a fine film
vault as well. was funny - no ifs, ands, or buts about it! By cleverly combining the
talents of the actors, new director Steve Carr manages to "allow" the film to be basic, stylish and
equally as intriguing as F. Gary Gray's original direction. The real treat of this film besides the
quick-hitting humor is that the filmmakers did not deal "too much" in trying to use many of the
gimmicks and tricks of the original. Comedy sequels occupy an interesting realm with audiences. For
example, Airplane, Police Academy, Naked Gun, Revenge of The Nerds, and other films were all
funny and spawned funny sequels. But how many of the sequels do you actually remember? My point
exactly. Well, the power of Next Friday is that you WILL remember this sequel and you might
remember that it took place in Rancho Cucamonga! See it today.
- Ice Cube - Boyz N The Hood, Higher Leaning, Friday, Anaconda, Three Kings
- John Witherspoon - House Party, Boomerang
- Tommy Lister - Fifth Element, I Got The Hook Up