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25 Days of Christmas: ‘Friday After Next’
December 19, 2012Posted by on
The first Friday is a stoner-comedy classic from the ‘90s. Next Friday is not. Now, we have this third installment, which is Christmas themed. Its goal is to make up for the previous entry. In many respects, it shares a lot with A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. But while Harold and Kumar succeeds, Friday After Next misses the mark.
To its credit, the film really tries and is better than Next Friday. Ice Cube returns as Craig as if slipping into a comfortable pair of pants, and it seems that the rest of the cast is having fun in their roles. The problem is that I think Cube and new director Marcus Raboy forgot what made the original Friday so great. It was about something. Granted, there was some over-the-top comic beats, but, at its core, it had a coming of age element unlike many movies of the time. The film knew when it needed to be serious, and Craig grew as a character. Perhaps it was lightning in a bottle.
The later films became almost a parody of itself by becoming too cartoony. Friday After Next does scale back on the cartoony aspects, but there is little substance. The movie is purely “stuff happens” and most everything is outside the control of our main protagonists. There is no reason to care. Craig and Day-Day (Mike Epps) need to get money to pay their rent or they will be kicked out. Throughout the film, this problem is never deemed important. It is as if the characters already read the script and knew their troubles will resolve themselves.
Friday After Next is not terrible. It is just underwhelming. Setting the film at Christmas would have been a great way to give the series a fresh feel, but nothing is really done with it. There are some genuine laughs, but, at the end of the day, everything just seems to be on autopilot. The end product then becomes completely forgettable.