Friday After Next

The rent is due, the police just confiscated the communal marijuana plant and Santa's stealing presents instead of leaving them under the tree: It's Christmas Eve in the 'hood — a Friday, of course — and cousins Day-Day (Mike Epps) and Craig (Ice Cube) are having trouble working up any holiday spirit. Sure, they've finally moved out of their parents'...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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The rent is due, the police just confiscated the communal marijuana plant and Santa's stealing presents instead of leaving them under the tree: It's Christmas Eve in the 'hood — a Friday, of course — and cousins Day-Day (Mike Epps) and Craig (Ice Cube) are having trouble working up any holiday spirit. Sure, they've finally moved out of their parents' homes into a bachelor pad in the Shady Palms apartment complex, but the visit from Santa burglar — who stole all their presents and kicked Craig's ass... with the Christmas tree, yet — has seriously dampened their enthusiasm. Craig and Day-Day need to come up with the rent money by the end of the day, or else mustachioed manager Ms. Pearly (BeBe Drake) will sic her muscle-bound, ex-con son, Damon (Terry Crews), on them. And while they do have jobs lined up, they're not exactly desirable jobs. Their dads (Don "D.C." Curry, John Witherspoon) have opened up a barbecue restaurant at a nearby strip mall and persuaded the owner (Maz Jobrani) to hire Craig and Day-Day as security guards. They spend the day dealing with shoplifters, church ladies, gangbangers and ill-behaved kids, only to get fired before they can ask for an advance on their salaries. So they throw a rent party and spend the rest of the night dealing with their rowdy guests. FRIDAY (1995), a shaggy series of sight gags, dope jokes and vulgar throwaway observations, many of them scabrously funny, was a surprise hit and NEXT FRIDAY (1999) has its moments. But this second sequel suggests that the series is running out of steam; it shares the first two films' loose-jointed structure, but laugh-out-loud bits are few and far between. Katt Williams steals every scene he's in as old-school pimp Money Mike; that he's exploiting the broadest of stereotypes doesn't make his preening and sniping any less entertaining. But basically the movie is like a family get-together — the old gang is there (even Day-Day's dog), blustering and cracking wise the way they always do. It's familiar, undemanding and not as bad as it could have been, but you can't help thinking that somewhere else, there's a real party going on.

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