You really have to see the first Barbershop (2002) to appreciate this sequel, but overall I found this sequel to be the better of the two movies.
If you've gone this long without seeing either film, I'm guessing you've at least heard rumors about the movie's premise.
Barbershop 1 takes a look inside a long staple of the African-American community -- the barbershop (and really black hair salons also) -- where any and everyone is made to feel at home, any and everyone has an opinion and all are welcomed into discussions of politics, race, sex, class and life without the fear of being condemned for "their personal opinion."
Using a southside Chicago barbershop that's been passed down from father to son and continues to be a meeting place for the community's four corners, calamity ensues as the lives of one entangles another before ALL come to the rescue to save the day.
This premise is repeated, albeit, more real and less over-the-top in Barbershop 2 than in the first.
The characters became believable, real people with all their own individual quirks instead of being the loud mouth caricatures they appeared to be in the first version.
This movie also does a deceptively clever job of using comic relief to pose true-to-life social issue discussions on history-rooted topics like...
1)How much should we as a society change vs. How much we should retain and stay the same?
2)In the duel of big business & big dollars vs. morality & spirit, which is "really" best for the community at large?
3)As it pertains to the African-American cultural identity, how far should blacks go to further "assimilate" into the mainstream vs. how much of its past identity should it cling to for the sake of cultural pride and integrity?
I'm sure the overwhelming majority of viewers probably just watched this movie for jokes.
And while it has it's funny moments, pay special attention to the movie's more subtle details (like the opening scenes' use of hair as a motif) and retrospective messages and you'll see there's more to it than a Cedric the Entertainer punchline.
Overall, this movie is what I call "real" entertainment.