While Are We Done Yet? might be a fun movie for kids to learn how to deal with a stepfamily, most of the movie feels like someone scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel for kid-friendly entertainment.
Walking into the screening of Are We Done Yet?, the sequel to the 2005 flop Are We There Yet?, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this really necessary?” And as I walked out of the theater an hour and a half later, I asked myself, “Was that really necessary?”
Are We Done Yet? picks up a year after the first movie ends, and things have gotten hectic for Nick Persons (Ice Cube). Nick has married the woman he tried so hard to impress in the previous movie, Suzanne (Nia Long) and has sold his half of his sports bar in order to start a sports magazine. She and her two kids, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Bolden), have moved in with Nick and are trying to start a new family. They soon realize Nick’s apartment is too small when Suzanne tells Nick she is pregnant with twins.
Nick and Suzanne take the kids looking for the perfect house for their new family. Out in the country, far away from the distractions and luxury of the city, they find a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere. A friendly and enthusiastic real estate agent, Chuck (John C. McGinley in another hilarious, pitch-perfect performance), shows the happy couple the spacious home and breathtaking view that surrounds it. The only downside is the house needs a little work, but Nick is confident he can fix anything that goes wrong.
So, of course, things go wrong, and that is how the rest of the movie is spent. Things break and Chuck pops up as either the local real estate agent, local contractor, or local inspector and tells Nick it’s going to cost money Nick claims he doesn’t have. Nevertheless, the work gets done. For roughly 80 minutes, Cube falls down or attempts to attack the wildlife that infests his home, and then falls down. He has a hard time delivering any punch line, and looks as though he is ready to murder someone when he is the punch line. Long is mostly forgotten in the role of the peripheral pregnant wife who is supportive up to a point and then abruptly moves out. The only redeeming quality of the movie is McGinley, who makes the unbearable dialogue and puns he spews hilarious. His character literally wears different hats, and we get to see a man who is internally plagued by the roles he has to fill.
Director Steve Carr, who was also at the helm of Daddy Day Care and Rebound, uses every excuse imaginable to get Cube to fall through any roof or balcony. The over-the-top antics become almost slapstick, leaving all traces of reality behind. The emotions are canned and the life lessons ring true for no one. While Are We Done Yet? might be a fun movie for kids to learn how to deal with a stepfamily, most of the movie feels like someone scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel for kid-friendly entertainment. | Matthew F. Newlin