Blerd Film Club: Barbershop


Ice Cube is the template for rappers creating film careers. He's done stoner films, he's done gangster films and he's even done family friendly films. Somehow he manages to say "fuck the police," in all of them, but he does it. In 2002 he brought us Barbershop featuring Eve transitioning from rapper to actor as well.

Barbershop takes place mostly at a barbershop on the South Side of Chicago. Calvin the owner inherited the shop from his father and isn't sure about the future of it or the value in the shop. Losing money quickly and hoping to start a family, Calvin sells the shop to Lester Wallace a local loan shark. He does this without speaking to the employees or his family. They discover this when Lester shows up to create a layout for turning the barbershop into a strip club.

Throughout the day Calvin reflects on the barbershop alongside Eddie, a barber that had been there since Calvin's father owned the shop. Eventually Calvin tries to return the money to Lester, but Lester now wants double to buy the shop back. A local ATM is stolen and one of the barbers, Ricky is arrested for it.  In reality, Ricky's cousin JD had used Ricky's truck to steal the ATM. Calvin takes the money from Lester and bails Ricky out of jail. Driving back Calvin brings up the gun that was in Ricky's locker. Ricky is a two time felon and can't legally own a gun. Ricky throws the gun in the river to prove to Calvin that he's on the right path from here on out.

The two head to Lester's warehouse and get into an argument. Lester orders his goons to kill them but police arrive. During the chaos Calvin steals the deed to the Barbershop back. They also turn in the missing ATM for another $50,000 in cash. The barbershop opens the next day as if nothing happened. Calvin's wife gives birth to a sun.



Barbershop is a simple movie and really focuses a lot on Barbershop culture. The plot is simple but the thing that makes people love it is everything else. There are conversations that take place in the black barbershop that don't generally happen elsewhere. Sometimes people hang out at the barbershop not because they need a haircut, but for the drama.There's a lot of background stories in Barbershop. We never see the start to some of them. We never see a conclusion to some of them. That's the barbershop, a moment in time where for just a while, things stand still.

I don't think Barbershop is a great movie structurally. The plot isn't spectacular. All of the acting isn't great. Many of the characters are forgettable. There's some odd camera shots and cutaways. Despite that, I still think it's a great movie because it brings the feeling of a real barbershop. Something that it doesn't lose in the sequels or spin offs.

Download a free copy of Darrell's book Phantasmagoricalread some of his other work at 12AMFiction.com and hear him on the Powerbomb Jutsu Podcast
Blerd Film Club: Barbershop Blerd Film Club: Barbershop Reviewed by Blerds Online on Monday, February 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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