Retro Review: Friday After Next

Updated: November 24, 2002

We return to the ‘hood lookin’ for laughs but the filmmakers seem to have forgotten their gag-reel.

“Friday” film-franchise co-creator Ice Cube writes the third entry in his light look at life in the ghetto. This time Cube’s character Craig is re-joined by his cousin Day-Day (Michael Epps) from “Next Friday” who become bumbling security guards at the local mall after their apartment is ransacked by a “Santa Clause Bandit” on Christmas Eve. Desperate to keep their money-grubbing landlord (Anna Maria Horsford) and her ex-con son (Terry Crews) at bay, Craig and Day-Day try to come up with their rent money, which was taken by Santa Clause.

Having not seen any of the previous Friday films, it was hard to really gauge if this sequel stood up to the original. I am sure that people who enjoyed the previous films will like this one as it reunites characters from the previous films and expands on their hi-jinx. For a newcomer, I found the film to be really bland and tiresome. There is foot-chase after foot-chase and by the time they conclude I have forgotten why the characters were chasing each other.

I have to admit that the characters in the film are quite unique and engaging but even with them the film’s 85 minutes feels like the “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition”. I liked the beginning of this sequel but felt it didn’t move or grow as it continued.

The film’s ending left me a little puzzled as it’s quickly wrapped up with a bow. With the short ending and very lengthy cartoon opening, “Friday After Next” has little room for substance.

I have to admire what Ice Cube as a film-entrepreneur has accomplished. It’s great to see him do all sorts of things and put passion into his work. I just feel he needs to let “Friday” go and move on to bigger and brighter things. Saturday has to come at some point.

(1.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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