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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.45%
Worth A Look: 1.45%
Average: 10.14%
Pretty Bad: 8.7%
Total Crap78.26%

5 reviews, 39 user ratings

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Are We There Yet?
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Imagine 'The Toy' without the simple, quiet dignity."
1 stars

“Are We There Yet?” gives viewers the gruesome spectacle of watching yet another promising African-American actor squandering the talent and raw charisma that made him worth noticing on an “idiotic” family film in which his once-edgy presence has been thoroughly emasculated and replaced with the kind of bland idiocy that makes him seem about as threatening as Chevy Chase. Such a move pretty much destroyed the artistic careers of such landmark performers as Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and now it appears that Ice Cube has decided to follow that less-than-distinguished path in a crude (in every sense of the word) stab at a family-oriented film. On its own, it would be one of the more appalling things to come around in a while but the sight of Cube, so powerful and striking in films such as “Three Kings” and “Barbershop” shucking and jiving for a buck is unspeakably depressing–especially when you consider that he co-produced the film and therefore must have had some say in the finished product.

Cube stars as confirmed bachelor Nick, whose only joys come from his sports-collectible store and the lavish new Lincoln Navigator that he has just purchased. One day, he spots divorcee party-planner Suzanne (Nia Long) across the street and instantly falls in love. There is a problem–actually, two of them; her two kids, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Phillip Daniel Bolden), is insanely protective of their mother and, convinced that their father is going to return, ward off any potential suitors with the kinds of elaborate contraptions that any two preteen children could rig up in a moment, provided that they are experts in special-effects design. Nick isn’t keen on children but when Suzanne’s ex is unable to take the kids for New Year’s, he graciously agrees to drive the two of them up to Vancouver, where Suzanne is working a party(apparently she is either the greatest party planner since Martha Stewart or no one in Canada knows how to throw a quality shindig), in order to score some points with her. Needless to see, the little urchins don’t like this at all and do whatever they can to disrupt the trip.

A film with wit might have concentrated on the normal frustrations that inevitably occur when people are crammed in the same car for a 300-mile trip–the very things that made “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” the most obvious of inspirations on display here, so memorably amusing. Alas, this is not a film with wit so we get to see such sights as the kids kicking Nick in the genitals, steal his car and smash it up, slip a corkscrew in his jacket so he can get busted by airport security, run away and hop a freight train and splatter the insides of his car with any number of unpleasant fluids. Oh, they also stick a “HELP US” sign in the window so a mad trucker (M.C. Gainey) can stalk them under the delusion that Cube is a kidnapper. Clearly, this is a film that comes from people whose view of children is either clueless at best or diseased and hateful at worst. It should probably come as no surprise to discover that “Are We There Yet?” has been directed by Brian Levant, whose first effort was the similar-in-tone “Problem Child 2 .

Almost as repulsive as the behavior of the children (and trust me, they make the little brat from “Elektra” seem cuddly by comparison) is the way that the film attempts to make them seem sympathetic in time for the incredibly forced “happy” ending. It seems that they are lashing out because they are hurt about the divorce and we are even treated to the would-be tear-jerking scene where the brats run off to their daddy’s home and see him sitting in the living room with another woman and an adorable infant. We are supposed to be moved at the plight of the kids and angry at the father that abandoned them but I fear that my thoughts were somewhat different; based on what we have seen from the children, I not only applaud Dad’s decision to flee but I stand in awe of the fact that he was able to do so without taking an axe to his family beforehand. Cube also gets his own unconvincing conversion as well when his precious car finally goes up in flames and he tells the kids that he forgives them because they are really good kids and it was only a meaningless material possession. Forget the fact that these are unlikely sentiments from a guy whose business is based on meaningless material possessions–for a character to just simply overlook or forget all the other traumas that were perpetrated upon him by those same kids could only be explained if the movie in question were titled “Memento 2 .

Jam-packed with one-note performances, dreary visuals, lame dialogue (what can you say about a script where the best line may be “Who wants to go to Vancouver?”) and the kind of tired cliches that you thought had finally fallen out of favor (including urination jokes, horny-grandma jokes and sing-alongs to old Motown tunes), “Are We There Yet?” is an embarrassment to the family films in general and Ice Cube in particular. Anyone who has displayed any sort of admiration for either one should treat it like the plague and stay far, far away. For those of you who think I am overexaggerating its lousiness, I can only hope that you enjoy the film with your brood. I especially hope that you enjoy the ride home afterwards.

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originally posted: 01/21/05 16:02:59
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User Comments

1/08/16 David Hollingsworth Is it over yet? 1 stars
7/25/08 Alice I liked it, a good family movie 3 stars
3/31/07 David Pollastrini Ice Cube needs to go back to the hood 3 stars
1/13/07 saad muhammud so fucking lame 1 stars
12/02/06 Chris Simpson Dire. Unpardonable drivel. I saw it on a plane. Thanks again, Kenya Airways. 1 stars
11/12/06 cody a pretty ok flim with more few laughs. 3 stars
8/29/06 hans svetnis no words can describe how stupid this film is 1 stars
7/23/06 Joe This film made me feel like getting a vasectomy so I can never have kids. 1 stars
7/12/06 ian afford am i dead yet? 1 stars
4/16/06 David Klein Absolutely awful. So poorly put together I can't believe I watched the whole thing. 1 stars
4/02/06 JRE it was cute and funny. I don't know why people hate it so much 3 stars
1/30/06 the laughing man I Don't Even Feel Like Talking About This Film. 1 stars
12/12/05 Bad Critic Ice Cube's a dumbass. Predictable and lame ending. Don't waste your time.l 2 stars
11/04/05 vincent are nice movie 2 stars
7/22/05 tony poooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 1 stars
6/15/05 Quigley halfway through the movie, i was aying, "are we GONE yet?" 1 stars
6/08/05 Mike Waste 1 stars
5/25/05 Jake Stupid and Predictable 2 stars
5/15/05 Rebecca I really loved it! It was cool that Ice Cube played that role he was good 5 stars
5/06/05 Colleen Goldrick miss this trip 2 stars
4/18/05 Rhianna Correa Dorkey movie...made me laugh. 3 stars
4/15/05 shatonjia I hated it but my kids loved it. 3 stars
3/26/05 JC Pierce BOO 1 stars
3/25/05 malcontent First Diesel goes kiddie, now Ice Cube ? 2 stars
3/25/05 craig varney i thougt i'd never get there 1 stars
3/17/05 Colleen Goldrick Just Horrible 1 stars
2/26/05 Mia Griggs Should be called "Is It Over Yet?" 1 stars
2/26/05 Binny nice 4 stars
2/19/05 fo0b4r Hey.. I kinda liked it. 3 stars
2/12/05 Ig Extremely stupid movie 1 stars
2/08/05 whatevr is this movie over yet? 1 stars
2/05/05 X-naut ice cube needed to just stick with music after he made friday 1 stars
2/01/05 Lynda Eby Same old, same old............. 2 stars
1/30/05 bongeezer As Rodney would say "Now I know why tigers eat their young!" 1 stars
1/30/05 TyrantisTerror I saw an add on Tv that said this was the best film of the year. BS! 1 stars
1/27/05 malkik robinson true rating 1 stars
1/25/05 RexTrent Will someone make a movie about going back in time in an effort to coerce abortion?! 1 stars
1/24/05 Brian this and XXX2 in the same year? ice cube really has it in for movie goers. 1 stars
1/23/05 Jeff Anderson This film is pure sadistic tripe, enough said! WHY, ICE CUBE, WHY! You deserve much better 1 stars
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  21-Jan-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 24-May-2005



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