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Studio:
     Columbia Pictures
Plot:
     A couple’s suburban dream home becomes a riotous nightmare when they hire an eccentric contractor.
Cast:
     Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden, John C. McGinley
Rating:
     PG-13
Bottom Line:
     **

Coverage:
by
Samantha Ofole-Prince

Picking up from where the dull and not so funny prequel "Are We There Yet?" left off, Ice Cube’s latest comedy offers more laughs than its predecessor.

In 2005, audiences were introduced to Nick Persons (Cube), a smooth operator who was trying to land a date with Suzanne (Long), a young attractive divorcee by driving her kids to Vancouver from Portland – a drive which became far more than he had bargained. Now Nick is married to Suzanne and along with Coco the dog, her two kids: 13-year-old Lindsey (Allen) and 8-year-old Kevin (Bolden) they are now living in Nick’s cramped bachelor condo. When Suzanne announces she is pregnant with twins, Nick decides they need more space and buys a large suburban house to accommodate his growing family. When his new home quickly becomes a costly ‘fixer upper’ with rotting walls, corroded plumbing and animal infestation, he finds himself at the mercy of an eccentric contractor called Chuck (McGinley) and his suburban dream soon becomes a nightmare.

Directed by Steve Carr ("Next Friday," "Daddy Day Care"), "Are We Done Yet?" began its journey to the big screen when a producer at RKO Pictures was struck with the idea of updating the classic 1948 screwball comedy "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and injecting it with a 21st Century feel. The project found its way to Cube Vision Productions and it was reworked as a sequel for "Are We There Yet?" Sadly, this family-friendly film uses virtually the same batch of recycled jokes and predictable gags. Gags designed around stunts rather than logic and although it isn't a laugh out comedy, it comes pretty close especially when the eccentric, but comical Chuck Mitchell is introduced. A Jack-of-all-trades, Chuck is a realtor, a yoga instructor, a home inspector, a contractor and a midwife. There’s little he can’t do much to Nick’s annoyance and it’s his colorful charisma that saves this flick from being a total dud for he injects a huge dose of humor into an otherwise lackluster sequel as none of the film's major events are particularly funny. Bats, sharks, raccoons, fishes, spills, splats, bumps, bruises and oddball neighbors summarize this family friendly flick.

Bottom-line: it’s a corny comedy with just enough laughs to keep the kids entertained and justify the cost of a pricey movie ticket. Word to the wise: Cube, who has remarkable screen presence and star power really needs to stop meddling in mundane slapstick flicks and give fans another installment of the movie "Friday".

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