Friday After Next
It’s Christmas in the hood, and there are two or three funny ornaments on the tree, but not nearly enough of them to free the third entry in the ‘Friday’ series from that drab, been-there-smoked-that feeling known as obligatory sequelitis. Friday After Next has the same problem that ”Next Friday” did — it’s called Where’s Chris Tucker When You Need Him? The central characters, grouchy, levelheaded Craig (Ice Cube) and flaky instant-gratification junkie Day-Day (Mike Epps), are like competing straight men who’ve been yoked together in lieu of a bona fide sweet-and-sour comedy team. In dire need of rent money, the two take jobs as security guards at an L.A. strip mall, and the movie pretty much plants itself there, with diminishing returns.
It’s always amusing to see John Witherspoon, as the addled Mr. Jones, do his crotchety-to-the-point-of-hysteria routine, and a skinny-faced newcomer named Katt Micah Williams may have a big career ahead of him; playing a wannabe pimp called Money Mike, he does hilarious variations on scratchy ghetto back talk. But the movie is altogether too infatuated with its ramshackle spirit. Most of the gags take after the characters — they just sit there.