out of Five
Running time: 96
Badly directed, poorly written and shockingly laugh-free comedy that even Ice Cube's perpetually grumpy face can't save.
What's it all about?
This is the follow-up to 2005's mediocre comedy, Are We There Yet? Nick (Ice Cube) has now married his girlfriend Suzanne (Nia Long) and moved her and her two kids, 13-going-on-16 Lindsey and accident-prone Kevin (Aleisha Allen and Philip Daniel Bolden) into his tiny apartment.
When Suzanne announces she's pregnant, they buy a house in the country and move in, only to discover that it needs a lot of costly repair work. Nick then finds himself at the mercy of various different elements, including a talking racoon (it's that kind of movie), blind Mexican plumbers and an eccentric contractor (John C. McGinley).
The plot is adapted from 1940s Cary Grant comedy Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, which also gave us the Tom Hanks comedy The Money Pit. Unfortunately, both of those films are ten times funnier than Are We Done Yet? and it says something about the dumbing down of Hollywood that none of the original film's witty, sparkling dialogue appears in the Ice Cube version.
There isn't a single funny joke in the whole film. It's also extremely badly written and directed, with the script lurching from one unfunny set-piece to another (Ice battles a racoon, Ice gets frightened by a CGI deer, Ice gets attacked by bats) with no regard for continuity. For example, the racoon is set up as a constant menace but it disappears after one scene.
McGinley emerges as the best thing in the film by default but that really isn't saying much. You basically spend the whole film waiting for Ice to lose his cool but even when he does, it's just not funny.
Basically, the title says it all and if you're unlucky enough to end up seeing this, you'll be repeating that title for the entire 96 minutes. Avoid.