Friday After Next
Grade: D-
Year: 2002
Director: Marcus Raboy
Writer: Ice Cube
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

Adam Sander temporarily earned respect as a legitimate actor, after his performance in the acclaimed film, Punch-Drunk Love. But it now appears that his credibility will decline after the release of the latest project he took part in, The Hot Chick, starring Rob Schneider. Ice Cube had the same thing going for him after the acclaimed Boyz N the Hood, and kept it going after the witty comedy known as Barbershop. Even the first two 'Friday' movies were respectable. But now I'm afraid to see anything that is a CubeVision production, or anything to has anything to do with Ice Cube at all.

I've seen the first two movies, and have enjoyed them considerably. So understand that my ranting have some merit. I expected this movie to go a certain distance, but it never got close. From the seemingly never ending credits intro, to the end of this abomination, Friday After Next is one to forget. Comedies are supposed to make us laugh. This one made me angry.

Unfortunately, I can't say much about the plot, because there is no plot. It recycles the same banal concept that the second took from the first, only to be molded into a third. God help us if there will be a fourth.

It's early morning on Christmas Eve. Craig (Ice Cube) gets out of bed to after waking up to a startling noise.. Someone is robbing his apartment. It turns out to be a burglar, decked out in a Santa Outfit with his face covered. Craig yells for his dopey roomie Day-Day(Mike Epps) to help out, but he is currently dreaming about the hoes and weed that he wants for Christmas. After the short struggle, the black Grinch gets away leaving Craig tangled up in the Christmas tree wrapped on the floor. Day-Day finally wakes up to see all of the presents gone, as well as the rent money that happens to be due the following night.

The police arrive to investigate the crime scene and find the marijuana plant that belongs to Craig and Day-Day. Oops. I guess they forgot to hide it before inviting the POE-lice into their apartment. But don't worry, our heroes aren't arrested. The two cops confiscate the plant instead without confrontation. We later find them smoking it on the side of the road in plain sight. It's a good thing that the rest of the police force must be corrupt as well, because anybody can see the smoke pouring from the cop car parked on the side of the road.

Friday After Next is black comedy primarily for black audiences. This was never a secret, as it was the same case in the first two 'Fridays.' Maybe it's because I'm not black, but I didn't find the degrading meaner of the characters to be funny at all. The females are never called women, girls or ladies. They are either referred to as hoes or b*tches, and are always treated like meat.

What confounded me, was that the predominantly black audience at the advanced screening I attended erupted into bedlam every time a woman was put into her place by her pimp or her master. Apparently, watching somebody's mama get slapped because the food is so good, is considered hilarious. Every time a b*tch passed by, the male characters would follow the rear with their eyes.

This is what I mean by this movie lacking any concept of plot. The Grinch is the primary villain. He is a thief. But not a jewelry nor a car thief. He steals Christmas presents. He doesn't go out in camouflage, or at night for that matter. He usually strikes in mid day wearing his bright red suit. But he never gets caught nor is he ever spotted. Craig and Day-Day will eventually try to stop the Grinch, and will attempt to get their presents back, but by that time in the movie, it is a complete debacle. This is one that I would have walked out on, but I never walk out of movies. But after enduring this mess, I may want consider revising my personal movie-going rules.

In order to make back the money that the Grinch stole from them, Craig and Day-Day become security guards at a shopping strip-mall. If they don't return the money to the landlady by the end of the day, her son Damon will be sent to deal with them. Damon is a huge freak who was just released from prison last night. Being confined for 25 years has turned him gay, and…well I rather not say anymore.

But I'll try, as painful as it is to recall some of the events that took place, I might as well continue to argue my case. The old characters are back. Craig's dysfunctional family returns to open up a barbeque joint in the shopping center where Craig and Day-Day work. While on break, the guys smoke a joint out back, just minutes before Santa strikes again to steal their pocket change. Where are the cops, you ask? They're eating at the bakery shop a couple of doors down from the barbeque restaurant. Craig warns during a narration, that you should never eat at that donut store. It is infested with flies, and you can see the report printed by the Department of Health hanging on the front window, displaying a gigantic letter "F" Yet near the end, in order to get revenge on the owner for doing something that I won't reveal, Craig reports him to the Department of Health. They soon come and shut the store down. Why didn't they close the restaurant down when they first gave the restaurant an F grade? But this movie can get away with these kind of holes, because the plot has been replaced with props to generate laughter. The big "F" on the window is a perfect example.

And now we come to the characters. Day-Day's days of pot smoking have caught up with him. He's as stupid as ever, but decides to take his new job seriously. He is told to not let anybody loiter, so then he concludes that he must attack the church women caroling on the corner of the Shop-And-Go. Besides being stupid, he doesn't stop whining and complaining throughout, always fussing about whatever is on his mind. Craig is no less annoying. He is the supposed smart one; preaching the importance of people skills, yet refers to the elderly women as old a$$ b*tches where they can hear him. Again, this is supposed to be funny. Craig is also the player. Whenever a fine girl moves into town, Craig begins his pursuit. They of course are always dating the pimps and losers, but Craig never fails to succeed when it's all over.

The dialogue is elementary, and in fact, the most sophisticated word used is 'shambles,' which contains the most syllables. The humor gets old quickly and is never funny. How many times are supposed to laugh every time Day-Day is a foot short of clearing the fence? How many times are we supposed to laugh every time a women is treated like a slave? Whenever a character tried to do something funny, I just looked at watch, patiently waiting for this mess to end.

Now for the acting. It's nice to know that the actors had fun while making the movie, but that's not supposed to be evident in the movie itself. In every scene involving a wrestling match between two feuding characters, you can clearly see the smile that the camera is not supposed to capture. I'll blame that on director Marcus Raboy who let it happen several times.

Will Craig and Day-Day end up saving Christmas? Will they stop the Grinch? Will they make good security guards? I hope you don't plan on finding out. Friday After Next belongs in the trash.

The movie continually plays out as nothing more than stupid gags balancing on the same redundant characters that were established in the first movie. There was no need to make a third, and I don't expect a fourth to be in the works after this one bombs. Although Friday After Next has a Christmas theme, don't expect this one to make the holiday favorites list anytime soon.

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