Feb '00:- Film
Next Friday

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Next Friday
By Shelby Jones  


PRODUCTION

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, Sticky Fingaz, and Jacob Vargas
 


INTRODUCTION

Number one at the box-office during its first two weeks in theaters, this film already appears to have legs. Everyone was screaming, "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 nay-sayers hype. Go and seeNext Friday today because things in the hood just went suburban. Yes,Next Friday is 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 Friday 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.
 


SYNOPSIS

After winning the lottery, Craig's uncle, Elroy Jones, (Curry) moves to Rancho Cucamonga with son Day-Day, and his lustful Suga, 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, Day-Day, 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.

 


THESPIANS

Of course the big question plaguing Next 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 Day-Day - 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, Jr. as Debo - whether chasing Craig, or screaming at anyone, Lister brings Debo to life and this time, Debo's mad as hell.

  • Jacob Vargas as Joker - absolutely great as a Mexican thug with plenty of humor. Provides a great assist in filling the void left by characters Big Worm, Hector and Ezell from the original Friday.
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    CRITIQUE

    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. Next Friday 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.

     


    OTHER WORKS

  • 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

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