Ice Cube Thinks the First ‘Friday’ Movie Is a Powerful Statement on Gun Violence
The question of “Which film in the Friday trilogy had the biggest impact on the issue of gun violence” isn’t one that we thought needed answering, but, then again, none of us are Ice Cube.
The L.A.-born rapper, filmmaker and entrepreneur joined LL Cool J on his podcast series, The Influence of Hip-Hop, where Ice Cube explained that he considers the first Friday film to be the most “impactful” because it sent a powerful message about gun violence through the wise words of the late legend John Witherspoon.
At around the 47-minute mark, Ice Cube said of Witherspoon’s iconic “You win some, you lose some” speech, “It was an important scene, and that’s why the first Friday is so impactful over the other ones,” apparently forgetting Friday After Next’s important message of how cops can be bribed with bags of weed.
Ice Cube believes that the serious moment when his character Craig is convinced by his father, played by Witherspoon, not to use a gun to solve his problems sets it apart from the film’s sequels because “if you look at the other ones, they don’t have that moment in the movie.”
The climactic ending of the first film features Craig knocking the neighborhood bully Deebo the f— out with his bare hands instead of using the handgun he brandishes at the beginning of the movie. “It took a comedy and it took the laughter, and it was a teachable moment,” Ice Cube explained. “It was dramatic in a movie that was so funny. It was impactful because what he was saying was some real shit.”
Most fans of the Friday franchise probably remember it for its comedic moments and for jumpstarting Chris Tucker’s film career — no Gallup Poll was taken outside of theaters in 1995 to gauge audience reactions, but it’s probably safe to assume that the majority viewers walked away from Friday thinking, “Wow, that was a funny movie,” rather than, “Wow, I’m going to punch my a–hole neighbor instead of shooting him in the head.”
Designating any Friday film as the “most politically impactful” is probably about as worthwhile as choosing the “most romantic” Friday the 13th movie. Still, there are plenty of poignant moments in Ice Cube’s filmography that made a more powerful statement than Friday — Boyz n the Hood, for instance, was a significantly more compassionate and thoughtful film in relation to gun violence.
Either way, this past summer, Ice Cube revealed that he is currently working to convince Warner Bros. to give him the rights to the Friday franchise and has already written a fourth film, tentatively titled The Last Friday, which will presumably make a powerful statement about the opioid crisis.