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Next Friday

Rated [R], 93 minutes
Starring Ice Cube, Mike Epps
Written by Ice Cube
Based on characters by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh
Directed by Steve Carr
website: www.nextfridaymovie.com/

IN SHORT: Even the target demographic was saying "Yech!"

Before we begin, let me take a moment to address some readers of previous African-American-cast film reviews who flamed my inbox with screams of "RACIST!" without actually reading the full reviews. If I were to drop Yiddish words into every sentence of a review, would you understand it? Hell, not even I would understand it. So how is it that I am racist if I can't understand gangsta rap rhythms and cadence (and language other than "word up" or "diss")? Racism is a lot more insidious than language, whether it be regional slang, ghetto speak or the use of foreign tongue. And you won't find that here.

That being said, cuz A) I want to see "good" movies regardless of color of cast or origin and B) I want to see if an African-American demographic targeted movie is made well enough that I can follow what's going on despite the rapspeak or anything else foreign to the NYC melting pot in which I live, we move on to Ice Cube's Next Friday, sequel to 1995's Friday.

Yes, I could follow the story of Next Friday, which involves South Central kidlet Craig Jones (Ice Cube) being farmed out to suburban relatives when Debo (Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.) the punk he trashed at the end of the last flick escapes from LA County Jail . . . not unlike the shtick Will Smith pulled on teevee, only with humor relying more on the stink of dog poop than on anything funny. In the suburbs lives Uncle Elroy (Don Curry), in a big house purchased after winning a state lottery. Uncle spends his time dressed in designer loungewear, smoking dope and doing the nasty (and we do mean nasty) with his buxom young girlfriend (Kym E. Whitley). Within 24 hours, Uncle gets served with a dispossess notice, for not paying taxes, and Craig aims to help his family out, by breaking into the drug dealer's house across the street and ripping off the ill gotten gain therein.

Stealing is stealing, folks. Thumbs down.

There's another plot thread about cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps), the only man who has an inkling of where the money went and how much there is of it. Day-Day is working at a CD store and ducking a pregnant ex (he's not the dad) who makes a habit of violating a restraining order, and spends most of the flick trashing his car. Craig, being the level headed import from the 'hood, does his bit to soothe racial relations by hitting on the Chicana sister of the trio of gangster stereotypes across the street. She, with wiggling tongue and way to tight jeans <sigh> does everything she can to encourage Craig without coming across like the other Chicana sluts being boffed by her brothers downstairs.

You know Cranky. I watch the demographic -- and there were plenty in the room with me. Nah, let me be specific. You could've drawn a line down the middle of the screening room, palefaces go the left, demographic targets to the right. The right side of the room was laughing consistently through the first half of the flick, mostly at words in the script that meant absolutely nothing to me. That soon dried up, as the flick veered into saving Uncle mode.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Next Friday, he would have paid...

$1.00

'cuz two of the target demo sitting in front of me, youngsters both, fell asleep. Next Friday is by the book moviemaking, folks, rife with stereotype and incomprehensible language. If a "white" production company had made this flick, anti-defamation groups would be howling at the moon. But it's made by Ice Cube's production company and is written with the tastes of low brow ethnic stoners in mind. So what do we make of that?

Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.