Director: Steve Carr
Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Jacob Vargas, Clifton Powell, Kym Whitley, Tamala Jones, Lisa Rodriguez, Tommy Lister, Jr., Sticky Fingaz
As great of films as they are, Boyz N the Hood (1991) and Menace II Society (1993) only showed the violent and darker aspects of inner city Los Angeles life. Pasty and crotchety film critics from the suburbs and upper-class America were enlightened, sure, but they weren't exactly ready to cop a plane ticket and sightsee around Slauson Avenue.
But then director F. Gary Gray and stars Ice Cube and Chris Tucker earned rave reviews and belly laughs with 1995's Friday, an intelligent hood comedy that found ways to be smartly funny as well as socially aware. Those privileged critics finally had reason to want to party with South Central folks.
Well, until they got a load of the dim-witted 2000 sequel Next Friday. Many Friday lovers will cite Tucker's absence as the movie's biggest fault, but that's actually giving Mr. Rush Hour way too much credit. Mike Epps might be a B-level comedian, but he's not to blame when the script overdoses in racial stereotypes and unimaginative crudeness. Where are Doughboy and O-Dog when you need them?