Saturday, February 4, 2017
ARE WE DONE YET? (2007)
Directed By: Steve Carr
Written By: Hank Nelken
Based On Characters Created By: Steven Gary Banks & Claudia Grazioso
Based on the Screenplay: “MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE” By: Norman Panama & Melvin Frank
Cinematography By: Jack Green
Editor: Craig Herring
Cast: Ice Cube, John C McGinely, Nia Long, Jacob Vargas, Tahj Mowry, Aleisha Allen, Phillip Bolden,Jonathan Katz, Hayes Macarthur
Newlyweds Nick and Suzanne decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor with a bizarre approach to business.
Shipped to theaters under the name "Needs Work" Which pretty much says it all.
Being a fan of the first film. I was hoping that magic would strike twice. Unfortunately that is not what happened. I expected diminishing returns but not this bad.
The film has the perfect title. As you can't wait for the film to be over. The film Simply isn't ever fun though it keeps trying to present things as funny, but the whole film and most of the characters come off as more annoying than anything. We see the same characters from the first film. Now as a family, but there is barely any bonding or interaction. As ice cube as the father annoys them and they annoy him and then separate. It could have examined how even though the kids like him from the first film. The dynamic of being a stepparent and the tightrope you have to walk. Though none of that is explored.
Instead he spends most of the movie getting annoyed by John McGinely who comes off as Like Bentley from the show THE JEFFERSONS. As more the annoying neighbor and who everybody likes except for the patriarch. Here being Ice Cube. As McGinely's character is always right and everyone seems to know him. His character quickly becomes bothersome for the audience. As most of cube's character problems either are because of him or avoiding him or his advice. Which leads to plenty of physical and slap stick comedy for ice cube to take on. Of which we are not accustomed to him doing. Nor is he a natural as it comes off less humorous and more painful. Which is what it feels like sitting through this film.
You can tell it was a film conceived with little thought of continuing from the previous film, instead stranding the characters in a single location. Where as at least in the previous film they were stranded many times but managed to Move around. That was half the fun them being out of their element and learning to adapt quickly To keep moving and save themselves. Here it feels more like a stand still.
Towards the end, where we get John McGinely's full story. Which is meant to excuse and put understanding on his behavior. It feels tacked on and ineffective. Just a scene where the film is supposed to have heart.
Ice Cube was approached to do another sequel, but declined, saying that he wanted to go in a different direction. He then proposed that the movie idea be turned into a TV show, which it did: ARE WE THERE YET? a television show based loosely off of the first film and the series. You could have combined three episodes of the television series and had something more interesting than this film.
It will probably remind some of the films MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS A DREAM HOUSE and THE MONEY PIT