By Samantha Ofole-Prince
“Kids are like roaches – only you can’t squesh ‘em!” growls Nick Persons (Cube) after he catches a couple of sassy kids trying to steal items from his sports memorabilia store. “They should be seen and not heard!” His detest for kids is apparent and his disdain for “breeders” — single mothers is even clearer. Things soon change when he encounters the beautiful Suzanne (Long), who has two “gremlins” – Nick’s terminology for kids. Despite his resolve not to date single mothers, he soon discards his philosophy and sets about trying to woo her. Suzanne, however, wants nothing more than friendship, but when she is stuck working in Vancouver and miserable because she misses her kids, Nick offers to bring them over hoping to finally win her
The insurable kids – 7 year old Kevin (Bolden) and 11-year old Lindsey (Allen), unfortunately for Nick, have vowed to sabotage their mother’s suitors by any means necessary, convinced that their father will rejoin their big happy home. ‘’I feel sorry for the next sucker that tries to put the moves on her,” vows Lindsey. The original plan is to fly from Portland to Vancouver. However, after Kevin’s action gets them thrown out of the airport and they miss the alternative train ride, Nick is left with no choice but to make a 300 mile road excursion in his prized possession – a sooped up Lincoln Navigator with sparkling rims and 330 cubic inches of V8. Along the way, the kids do everything they can to make the trip a complete nightmare, including wrecking Nick’s car. There are a few minor hitches which include a feigned asthma attack, a faked kidnapping and the cantankerous deer they encounter along the way.
A combination of goofy gags and dull humor makes this flick fall flat within the first few minutes. The jokes are recycled, unfunny and border on ridiculous, and even Nia Long’s character comes across as a self-centered user. Henry Simmons makes a ‘blink and you miss it’ appearance as a prospective suitor who gets frightened off by the children – he appears to pick Suzanne up but never quite makes it to the front door. Tracy Morgan is the voice of legendary baseball player Satchel Paige – a bobble-head mascot Nick travels with on his dashboard. He is the voice of reason in Nick’s head.
It’s a good clean story, is marginally upbeat and has a charismatic cast. Although Cube’s customary growl and gruff charm carries the movie, it’s seemingly obvious he had far less creative control in this project than previous “Cube Vision” produced movies. Still, he does manage to do a decent job bringing magnetism and poise to his work, as well as his supporting cast. Are we there Yet? is exceedingly low on laughs and full on yawns. For a comedy, it could have done heaps better with a lethal injection of humor for it has a decent storyline. Halfway through this flick there’s only one question you beg to be answered – is it over yet?
By Samantha Ofole-Prince