Next Friday (DVD)
A streetwise man flees South Central Los Angeles heading to the suburbs and his lottery-winner uncle and cousin to avoid a neighborhood thug with a grudge who has just escaped from prison. But trouble soon follows and the suburbs will never be the same in this comic thrill ride.
Ice Cube wrote and stars as Craig in this sequel to Friday
, which he also wrote. His nemesis from that film, neighborhood bully Debo (Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr.), has just escaped from county jail and is out to get revenge. To protect Craig, Craig's father (John Witherspoon) sends his son to stay with his Uncle Elroy (Don "DC" Curry), who won the lottery and bought a house in Rancho Cucamonga. Craig expects the suburbs to be dull, but no sooner has he arrived than conflicts arise: The neighbors are hostile hoods, his cousin's girlfriend is out for blood and child support, and the house is about to be seized because of unpaid taxes. It's up to Craig and his cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps) to solve these problems before the day is over. It's a rambling, loose movie, but a genuinely entertaining one. Ice Cube doesn't write punch lines--though funny lines abound. He writes richly comic characters that speak in virtual arias of bragging, complaining, and scamming. Sure, some of the characters are stereotypes and many of the jokes are about drugs and scatology--but that's been the basis of humor since Plautus and Molière. The rhythmic energy of Ice Cube's dialogue and the easy charisma of his performance make Next Friday
thoroughly enjoyable. --Bret Fetzer