It's a whole new approach to movie
reviewing. The Masked Reviewer saw the first 30 minutes of this
film, and then he had to go. Why? Where? Who knows.
The Masked Reviewer is an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, smothered in
But what to do? Should the Masked Reviewer not
review the film at all...or should the Masked Reviewer give his loyal
readers his opinions of the first thirty half-hour? You guessed
it! Something is better than nothing, as they say (unless it
relates to the results of a V.D. test).
Queen Latifah stars as Gina in this spin-off of Barber Shop,
which probably had something to do with hair cutting. In case any
of you are wondering whether Queen Latifah is a real queen...yes, she
is. She took over the job as the Big Cheese in England.
Elizabeth couldn't take it any more, and after seeing Chicago,
she knew Latifah was right for the job. So stop asking.
This seems like a movie that would have a few cameos from the
Barber Shop movies...maybe Cedric the Entertainer or Ice Cube or
someone. If they do appear, they didn't in the first 30 minutes,
other than in a photo that Queen Latifah keeps on her hairdressing
mirror. Hey! Reviewing only the first 30 minutes makes it
much easier to avoid spoilers!
The movie has a lot of star power, including Alfre Woodard, Andie
MacDowell, Alicia Silverstone, Mena Suvari, Djimon Hounsou, and Kevin
Bacon. Okay, none of them are huge stars, but they're all
well-known, and having a case full of recognizable faces is worth one or
two huge stars and dozens of unknowns, right? Also in the
cast is Keshia Knight Pulliam, who you might remember as Rudy from "The
Cosby Show". She's all grown up now, and won on both "Celebrity
Fear Factor" and "Celebrity Weakest Link". So, there you go.
Kevin Bacon plays an angry rival hair salon owner. His
character is effeminate and foreign -- it's nice to see they decided to
play against tired stereotypes. Then again, the Masked Reviewer
didn't see the end of the movie...so maybe they did break new ground.
Hey, it's yet another good thing about only seeing the beginning of the
movie! Anything could have happened!
Alicia Silverstone plays a girl with a southern accent. The
movie is set in Atlanta, which is in the south. Even if you live
in Miami, which is further south, Atlanta is still south. Alicia
Silverstone's accent is very southern, and you can almost feel the hot
Georgia sun on the back of your neck when she talks. That's good
acting, that is.
There are a few mild laughs in the first half hour. Maybe they
saved the big belly-busters for the last hour...but the first thirty
minutes are neither good nor bad...they're okay. Queen Latifah has
a charm and screen presence that's fun to watch, but the writing is
weak. There's some wisecracking and a definite "attitude",
probably similar to what was found in Barber Shop, but since the
Masked Reviewer didn't see that (or 30 minutes of it, even) it's hard to
At one point, the wife of a player from the Atlanta Hawks shows up at
the titular beauty shop. They used a name for this player -- it
might have been real. Who knows? Can anyone name a player
from the Hawks in the last ten years? Dominique Wilkins?
He's better known for his "Honey Nut Cheerios" ads. Okay, okay,
relax. No need to send angry letters. It's just a joke.
The Hawks are rebuilding.
So, that's about it. The pacing seems okay. The half-hour
flew by! Well, maybe it didn't fly by, but it definitely walked
briskly by. It might be worth checking out if you are a big fan of
Queen Latifah or some of the other ensemble cast. Otherwise,
though, it seems like a movie that didn't have a clear direction --
granted, the Masked Reviewer didn't see much of it, but what little he
did see didn't seem to really be driving towards anything.
Expectation from the Title: The place you can go to buy good
looks...also hides a sinister evil.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Everyone's hair looked very nice.
The Pros: Queen Latifah and the rest of the cast are fun
The Cons: There didn't seem to be much of a story, a few too
many hackneyed stereotypes.