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Third film in Friday franchise follows in footsteps of failed forerunners

First there was Friday. Then came Next Friday. This Friday brings Friday after Next.

After viewing the third Friday, it seemed more like Friday the 13th.

The original Friday the 13th was a scary movie featuring an axe-wielding killer terrorizing people. However, sequel after sequel soon muddled the franchise.

Friday came out in 1995, and two sequels later, it’s lost its point. See the similarities?

C’mon, how funny can it be watching two bumbling idiots go through life on a simple Friday?

Friday after Next premieres seven years after the original movie and is set in present-day Los Angeles. It’s Christmas Eve and our two main characters, Craig (Ice Cube) and Day-Day (Mike Epps), were just robbed in their apartments. With their presents gone and no rent money, their vicious landlord, Miss Pearly (Bebe Drake), gives them until midnight to ante up, or she’ll send her just-out-of-prison son Damon (Terry Crews) on them. Like the previous two films, Damon is the ominous, tough dude bent on wrecking havoc on the two. However, Craig and Day-Day are a bit disgusted by Damon’s unwanted sexual advances. This running gag is one of the few highlights of the film.

Needing quick cash, Craig and Day-Day score new jobs as security guards at the local shopping mall where their father, Mr. Jones, (John Witherspoon), and Uncle Elroy (Don D.C. Curry) have opened up their new restaurant. Craig immediately has his eye on the girlfriend, Donna (K.D. Aubert), of the owner of “Pimp and Hoes” clothing store, Money Mike (Katt Williams). After Craig stops a robbery in Money Mike’s store, he invites the two to come to his Christmas party. But once the two arrive, things begin to get out of hand.

There is definitely more action in this flick. The first two kind of lagged behind in physical comedy. In the original, both characters pretty much spent the whole day smoking out, drinking, talking about booty and trying to avoid their nemesis, Deebo. In Next Friday, Craig is moved out to the suburbs, but again, all he does is sit around and smoke weed. There really isn’t much to stimulate this reviewer.

But being the urban comedy it is, the atmosphere in the theatre was, to say the least, lively. Friday seems to be one of those films where it’s not uncommon to see audience members rolling around in the aisles, jumping up and down and screaming at the screen. It didn’t ruin the movie. Actually, one can make a reasonable argument that it made the movie enjoyable — but that’s as far as it went.

There’s numerous references to marijuana, alcohol and sex. This isn’t all that bad, but, how in the world have Craig and Day-Day gotten by in life by smoking out so much? It’s obviously a joke, but it’s pretty much overdone from the start.

There’s only so much that can happen on a Friday. If the filmmakers decide to make another, let’s hope that one will be called “The Final Friday.”

Contact Thomas Carrigan at