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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 don’t go according to plan.

Review by Jake Wilson:
Friday After Next is nothing special, but then again it’s 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 Ol’ Dirty Bastard and The Matrix notwithstanding, it’s as timeless as a Laurel and Hardy two-reeler or a long-running comic strip, enclosing its ne’er-do-well heroes in a brashly generic landscape of seedy apartment blocks and rundown strip malls, low-rent TV commercials (‘Chicken So Good It Make You Want To Slap Yo’ Mama’) 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 Smith’s 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 that’s 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 isn’t trying to impress anyone.

Special Features reviewed by Craig Miller
At first inspection, this loaded single disc release would seem big time entertainment, but unfortunately a lack of razzle dazzle sees a pretty typical package, indistinguishable from hundreds of other releases this year.

The Actors’ commentary gives the opportunity for a few Hollywood newcomers in Katt Williams (a standout comic talent) and K.D. Aubert to strut their stuff, which keeps it fresh and amusing. 

Microphone Fiend is a short, but focused look at some talented Black stand-up comedians doing the circuit in the States - some of which appear in the film, and many of which are extremely funny.

Also of some strange interest is The Pork Report featurette, a ten-minute look at various BBQ joints from around the US and the differences in preparing their food. Sure, it’s mainly a lot of guys talking about meat and sauces, but when is that never entertaining!

Much of the remaining featurettes and documentaries are the product of the popular DVD technique of negative engineering (taking a full size doco and hacking it up under sub headings), and all contain your typical interviews and behind the scenes looks into the film. Cinema goers who enjoy the Friday franchise will get a lot more out of this package than others, but for the majority, it’s likely that this jive is best left to the brothers. (Leave this one for the fans!)

Published January 8, 2004

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(US, 2002)

CAST: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don “DC” Curry, Anna Maria Horsford, Katt Williams, K.D. Aubert.

DIRECTOR: Marcus Raboy

SCRIPT: Ice Cube

RUNNING TIME: 81 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.66:1 16:9 Enhanced, Dolby 2.0 Dolby Digital 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Filmmaker commentary, Actors’ commentary, Hump Day – production documentary, Holiday In The Hood – production design documentary, Microphone Fiend – From stage to screen featurette, It Was A Good Day – Behind the Friday franchise featurette, Ghetto Fabulous – Costume design featurette, The Pork Report featurette, Fact Track – Trivia subtitle track, Deleted scenes with optional commentary, Gag reel, Trailers, Music video – “It’s The Holidaze” by Westside Connection, Making of the music video.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: December 10, 2003

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