Next Friday

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

A few years ago, a once very controversial rapper by the name of Ice Cube was on the brink of an acting career. Teamed up with hyper, spazzed-mouth Chris Tucker, the two conglomerated and came out with a movie entitled “Friday”. While it didn’t exactly win any awards, or light up the box office, Friday became a cult hit when it hit the video market, so we knew a sequal was coming…just not when. Sometime after Friday came out, Chris Tucker (who basically added a lot of the humor and made the original what it is today) had his career take off. With parts in Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element”, “Money Talks” and his most commercial success “Rush Hour”, it’s not really a suprise that we don’t see Tucker in the sequal. He is mentioned once or twice and is said to be in rehab for his drug problem. Funny, a bit of a deep subject for a comedy. Still, Next Friday reunites Ice Cube and a few original cast members as they try to do what everyone else does with a sequal–try to make a better movie.

Since it’s assumed that you would have seen the first movie, we all know that the villian “DeBo” was knocked out by Craig (Ice Cube) and sent off to prision. Next Friday literally picks up where the original left off and it’s now all of the sudden four years later and DeBo has broken out of prision and is looking for revenge. Now, if this were the plot, it would have been somewhat interesting. But about 5 minutes into the movie, we’re assured that it’s a subplot to say the least. I mean how conspicous are two black guys wearing orange prision outfits in the daytime and not getting picked up? Yes, it’s clear that the main story is to show that Craig is now out in the suburbs with his Uncle and cousin. The Uncle has won the lottery and has enough to buy a big house and furnish his son with a nice car, something Craig knows nothing about. With what seems the exact opposite of the life he’s used to, Craig thinks nothing can go wrong; what with no choppers about and no gangs to be worried about, life is good. But, as always, there are the sterotypical gang members…this time they’re hispanic next door neighbors who have a liking for a pit-bull named Chico and love to get wild every night.

While the jokes are funny at times, Next Friday clearly tries to capitalize on the success of the first movie. This makes sense, beacuse in essence that’s what a sequal is (if they liked it the first time, they’ll like it again). More often than not, though, it doens’t work. In my honest opinion, Friday should try to be just a comedy. Ice Cube is a good enough actor that he can pull of comedy or drama/action (Anaconda, Three Kings), but they try and mix in the seriousness of violence and gang warfare as if trying to make some convoluted statement, and it doesn’t work. Near the end, I found myself liking the movie, maybe because I knew it was about to end, but overall I’d say stick with the original and you’ll be set. However, if you were a die hard fan of the original and liked the humor, this is basically 100 minutes of the same, yet not the same. New Line has loaded it with extras, so it’s worth a rental at the very least.

Video: How does it look?

As with all of New Line’s movies, especially their “Platinum Series”, we can expect a brand new 16:9 transfer, and we get one! The 1.85 image looks great, but a few very minor errors were spotted and this being a new transfer, was docked a half disc. Colors are bright and vivid, and the way the story takes place (through one day–Friday) we get to see it in all different parts of the day. It’s hard to pinpoint any real inaccuracies, but New Line has a high standard for quality and their latest entry into the Special Edition market is certainly no exception.

Audio: How does it sound?

While Next Friday isn’t exactly reference material, it does have some scenes where the speakers take hold and let you know that you’re experiencing a full 5.1 soundtrack. Dialogue is clear and centered, while the front speakers take on most of the work. The sub is activated a few times and even fewer still, the surrounds. But as always, gunshots, glass breaking and the very dominant soundtrack sound great in this mix.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This is an area where the disc soars. In addition to the feature-length commentary with Ice Cube (who also produced the movie) and the director, we are treated to a behind the scenes featurette, some gag reels (outtakes), a screen test. Also included are production notes and cast bios (which are usually standard), and taken off the James Bond discs is the feature with a storyboard drawings while the movie plays. A music video is also provided along with some deleted scenes, an alternate ending (which really isn’t that alternate) and a few more goodies. The menus, while very cleverly done, are kind of distracting, but I suppose that’s just a matter of personal taste. Overall, I just wish they would have put this much on the first disc, but if you’re a fan of Next Friday, this one is for you!

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