A title like Are We Done Yet? does my job for me. Nonetheless…Superfluous beyond all reason, Steve Carr’s sequel to 2005’s instantly forgettable Are We There Yet? picks up where its predecessor left off, with Nick Persons (Ice Cube) having recently married hottie Suzanne (Nia Long) and become the stepfather to her two troublesome kids. Unhappily crammed into a tiny apartment, the new clan is forced by Nick to relocate to the rural country, where they’re swindled by super-cheery real estate agent Chuck (John C. McGinley) into buying a beautiful mansion that, it later becomes clear, is a monumental fixer-upper money pit. Thus begins the ill-advised hybridization of modern family-film slapstick with Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, the Cary Grant comedy upon which Hank Nelken’s pratfall-heavy script is very loosely based. Instead of Suzanne’s mischievous kids, Nick’s tormentors this time around are an assortment of wild animals—a raccoon who causes him to fall through a ceiling, bats who chase him from his bedroom, a giant fish that scares him out of a lake—as well as the excessively kindhearted Chuck, whose role as the town’s jack-of-all-trades leads him to constantly interfere in Nick’s business. Tangential min-dramas are plentiful, but Carr keeps his hodgepodge story from splintering into scattershot incoherence via the unifying thread of a cocky Cube getting injured in Roadrunner-style accidents (burning his hand, being electrocuted, plunging off a balcony). An animated intro credit sequence finalizes the rapper-turned-actor’s transformation into a pudgy, grumpy, and yet essentially good-hearted cartoon character. Yet what makes Are We Done Yet? so shoddy isn’t its likeable star’s now-familiar cuddly-bear persona, but the fact that, with only a few minor alterations, the film could easily pass for another entry in the decrepit Cheaper by the Dozen franchise.
- Columbia Pictures
- 92 min
- Steve Carr
- Hank Nelken
- Ice Cube, Nia Long, John C. McGinley, Aleisha Allen, Philip Bolden, Jonathan Katz, Linda Kash, Jacob Vargas
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