Cast: Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen, Philip Bolden, Jay Mohr, Tracy Morgan, M.C. Gainey, Nichelle Nichols
Director: Brian Levant
Rated: PG mature themes
Running Time: 95 Minutes
To win over their mother, he's driving them across country. What could possibly go wrong?
In this family comedy 'Are We There Yet?', Nick (Ice Cube), a smooth operator, is trying to land a date with a young, attractive divorcee, Suzanne (Nia Long). Problem is Suzanne is stuck working in Vancouver and miserable because she misses her kids. Seizing the opportunity, Nick gallantly offers to make her wish come true - and his own in the process - by bringing seven-year-old Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden) and eleven-year-old Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) up from Portland, Oregon to be reunited with their mom.
What Nick doesn't know is that Suzanne's children think that no man is good enough for their mom and will do everything they can to make the trip a nightmare for him.
Fasten your seat belts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.
'Are We There Yet?' is essentially a road trip movie. Nick (Ice Cube) runs a sports memorabilia store and one day sees Mrs Right across the street. Nick thinks this is going to be one easy catch until he discovers that the woman, Suzanne (Nia Long in a wasted role) is a divorcee with two children. But undeterred, Nick pursues Suzanne, befriending her until she decides he isn't interested in her children and that they will just have to settle for being friends. Nick doesn't like the idea but is prepared to abide by Suzanne's wishes, even agreeing to escort her two children from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Canada in time to catch up with her on New Year's Eve after their father shafts them, yet again. What Nick hasn't discovered yet is the lengths the two children will go to, to protect their mother from possible suitors. But he will and soon. All Nick has to do is ensure the children, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen performing well) and Kevin (Philip Bolden, a little too perfectly bad) reach their mother.
And so the road trip begins and so does the total annihilation of what could have been a decent comedy. The two children here, Lindsey and Kevin are a pair of utter brats who badly need to spend several years in the sin bin and then only be let out under very strict supervision. How they have gotten away with their appalling behaviour is really unbelievable especially when they have a mother depicted as so "nice". Nick initially has to escort the children to the airport from where he will say goodbye to them, but Kevin places a screwdriver in Nick's pocket just before he goes through airport security and Nick is literally pounced on by a very large number of security guards. So Nick decides to drive them to Vancouver in his brand new car, his pride and joy, which is obviously going to be a total wreck before long, based on the children and on the predictability of this movie. And so the children sabotage every move Nick makes, all completely predictable which means any hope of this chaos being funny goes west. Some of the so-called comedic situations are also particularly crass including one where Kevin inadvertently urinates on a woman's face.
Eventually Nick and the children arrive in Vancouver and after some misunderstandings, there is a tender moment and then all is forgiven. Ho-hum. What is so disappointing in 'Are We There Yet?', is the lack of subtlety. Nick also spends a lot of time talking to a bobblehead figurine of Satchel Paige (voiced by Tracy Morgan) in his car which talks to him, and one has to question why? There is one chaotic scene after another, which ends up like a series of very mediocre skits linked to form a movie. Funnily enough, the line "Are We There Yet?" is only uttered once in the entire movie, which as any parent would know is not the usual number of times this line is heard during any sort of travel. 'Are We There Yet?' is a very poor excuse for a family comedy and one could utter the line "Are We There Yet?" in the hope that the end of film is coming.
Rating : D-