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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Edition No 893 

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FRIDAY AFTER NEXT

SYNOPSIS:
When they are robbed just before Christmas by a burglar dressed as Santa Claus, Craig (Ice Cube) and his flatmate Day Day (Mike Epps) are faced with a problem: they have to find rent money by the end of the day or face eviction ... or worse. They hope to earn the money by taking jobs as security guards down at the local shopping strip, while at the same time keeping an eye out for the burglar, but things donít go according to plan.


Review by Jake Wilson:
Friday After Next is nothing special, but then again itís pretty wonderful: seeing it next to the Terminator and American Pie sequels is like finding an old-fashioned burger joint nestled among skyscrapers. References to Olí Dirty Bastard and The Matrix notwithstanding, itís as timeless as a Laurel and Hardy two-reeler or a long-running comic strip, enclosing its neíer-do-well heroes in a brashly generic landscape of seedy apartment blocks and rundown strip malls, low-rent TV commercials (ĎChicken So Good It Make You Want To Slap Yoí Mamaí) and bus routes from nowhere to nowhere.†

Back for a third outing after Friday and Next Friday, teddy-bear Craig and his hot-headed sidekick may suggest an African-American Jay and Silent Bob, but the movie is as far from Kevin Smithís college-boy pretensions as it is from the anaemic whimsy of sub-Jim-Jarmusch art cinema. This is no-frills, vernacular low comedy, distinguished mainly by its relaxed pace and confident relationship with its audience: the apocalyptic hype that defines most contemporary movies recedes beyond the horizon, leaving the foreground to be occupied by everyday problems (how to get laid, pay the rent) and an all-too-recognisable sense of time as a resource that exists only to be squandered.†

With material thatís stronger on wordplay than sight gags, director Marcus Raboy maps out the limited terrain effectively (one good bit has the two buddies wedged together in a rickety security booth) but avoids distracting visual flourishes. Most scenes are built around the principle of providing solos for the strutting male performers, each with his form of eccentric braggadocio: Money Mike, the diminutive pimp with his polka-dot cravat and high-pitched squeal; Curtis, the hulking ex-con with inappropriate homoerotic urges; the shuffling, chuckling uncle who brags about his sexual prowess.†

Needless to say, jokes about castration and gayness are thick on the ground, and the view of women is, well, uncomplicated at best; but political correctness is the last thing to demand from a film that pleases mainly because it isnít trying to impress anyone.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FRIDAY AFTER NEXT (MA)
(US)

CAST: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don 'D.C.' Curry, Anna Maria Horsford, Clifton Powell, K.D. Aubert, Bebe Drake

PRODUCER: Ice Cube, Matt AlvarazCube

DIRECTOR: Marcus Raboy

SCRIPT: Ice Cube

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Glen MacPherson

EDITOR: Suzanne Hines

MUSIC: John Murphy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Amy B. Ancona

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 7, 2003







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