“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except for a skinny, drunk-ass, rundown Ghetto Santa boostin’ everybody’s holiday stash!” So begins yet another Friday for Ice Cube’s no-luck Craig Jones and his all-too-familiar gaggle of ‘hood rat caricatures, made infamous in the first two installments of this curiously popular franchise. When last we left Craig, he had moved on up to Beverly Hills to share in his family’s newfound wealth (translation: they done won the lottery). But that was then and this is now. The family fortune is gone and everybody’s working at the mall back in the ghetto—the only place, Craig says, “where you can get robbed by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.” Not only robbed, it seems, but also where you can get a beat-down with your own Christmas tree, have hapless L.A. police smoke up your marijuana plant and have your Christmas party turn into a rent party. Yep, it must be another Friday in the ‘hood! Without Chris Tucker and Tiny Lister around to reprise their original and pivotal humorous roles, first-time director Marcus Raboy relies on a comely crew of comedic talents to bring on the laughs, namely Mike Epps’s slow-on-the-uptake Day-Day, John Witherspoon’s intestinally-challenged Pop and new addition Katt Micah Williams in a scene-stealing/star-making turn as the diminutive Prince-like wannabe pimp Money Mike. Though largely predictable (Pop is on the toilet, Craig is lighting up a joint, the cops are idiots) the mildly funny moments in the film succeed for the most part. Even though the pot smoking has been considerably reduced this time around, and while the film follows a similar formula more inventively established in the classic ‘70s ghetto film Carwash, Friday After Next makes for a not-completely-unbearable way to spend an hour and 25 minutes. There remains a viable audience for this brand of retread humor. As long as Ice Cube keeps it real and fresh (and maintains his youthful appearance—damn, he doesn’t look like he’s aged a day since last Friday!), we can all probably look forward to Yet Another Friday to come after this one, and the next one, or last one, or the one before and after that one as well.
- Marcus Raboy
- Ice Cube, DJ Pooh
- Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don "DC" Curry, Anna Maria Horsford, Clifton Powell, Katt Micah Williams, BeBe Drake
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