The 2005 movie Are We There Yet? is a family-oriented comedy about man who tries to woe a single mother. It was not well received by film reviewers, but still did quite well in theaters. In fact, a sequel Are We Done Yet? is coming to theaters soon, which is partly why this movie being re-released on DVD. The movie was originally released on DVD in mid-2005 (read the review by Aaron Beierle. This release is a shameless promotion that coincides with the sequel's theatrical debut, which is in April 2007.
Are We There Yet? stars bad-ass rapper Ice Cube in a slapstick role that sometimes works, but more often than not doesn't. Ice Cube is Nick Persons, a man who loves the ladies. He hopes his sweet new ride, a Lincoln Navigator, will help him get more women. He is an aging bachelor who runs a high-end sports collectible store. His life changes when he meets beautiful Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long), who works across the street. It is love at first sight. They become fast friends and Nick plans that one day they will be more than just friends. Unfortunately for him, he gets stuck in the friend zone.
One day, Suzanne asks Nick for a big favor, which he agrees to in hope of winning her over. She wants him to pick up her kids Lindsey and Kevin, and take them to Vancouver. She is going there to setup a party for New Year's Eve. Reluctantly, he agrees to take them. The kids are resistance and give Nick all kinds of trouble. They don't like their mom dating guys and hope their dad will come back into the picture. Too bad for Nick. The simple journey of getting on a plane and making a short trip from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Canada turns into an awful mess. Nick ends up doing the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles gambit.
Throughout the journey, a variety of silly and over-the-top slapstick situations are put together, which includes little kids peeing on people, barfing chunks in the car, Nick getting kicked in the groin, a mischievous deer, Nick getting beat up by little kids, and total destruction of Nick's brand new Navigator. What works for the movie is very little. The problem is that everything about the movie relies on overused cliches and it fails to put them into a comical light. Instead, the movie feels tiresome and lacks anything to stay interesting.
Overall, I was not moved by this movie in any fashion. I did not care a whole lot for Ice Cube in this role. I thought he was fantastic in Friday along side of Chris Tucker, but his standalone comical attempts, e.g., Barbershop, never did it for me. Are We There Yet? was no better. It felt like it was just one stupid situation after the other with Ice Cube or his car getting trashed and beat up. In the end, Are We There Yet? is a movie best left alone.
The presentation is given in 1.85:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color. As for the picture quality, it is pretty good. The image is generally clean with minor visual distortions and a slight grain.
The primary audio is given in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. There are also dubbed 5.1 tracks in Portuguese and Spanish, as well as a 2.1 surround sound track in French. The audio sounds good with crisp sounding dialogue and the occasional usage of the surround sound capabilities.
The release has subtitles in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The extras included with this DVD release are the same that came with the original DVD release, with the exception of a sneak peek at the sequel Are We Done Yet?.
- Raising the Roof: A Sneak Peek at Are We There Yet? (3:37): is a short featurette with cast and crew Ice Cube, Nia Long, Steve Carr, Matt Alvarez, Philip Bolden, Aleisha Allen, and John C. McGinley. They each provide comments about the upcoming movie.
- Bloopers (7:37): is a clip of goofs during filming. There are a couple laugh-worthy moments.
- Road Trippin' - The Making Of Are We There Yet? (21:02): is your run of the mill behind the scenes featurette. It has cast and crew (Thomas Ackerman, Aleisha Allen, Matt Alvarez, Philip Daniel Bolden, Stephen Coren, Ice Cube, M.C. Gainey, Walter Klassen, Brian Levant, Stephen Lineweaver, Nia Long, John Mohr, Nichelle Nichols, Michael Pryor, and Henry Simmons) talking about their experiences, casting, characters, and so on.
- A Tour of Nick's Fine Sports Collectibles (4:57): stars Brian Levant and he gives an inside look at Nick's sports collectible shop.
- Lastly, there is an audio commentary track with the director, a deleted scene, storyboard comparisons, and trailers for Are We Done Yet?, Daddy Day Camp, Open Season, Surf's Up, RV, Monster House, and Zoom.
Are We There Yet? is an overly cliched movie that attempts to get laughs with actor Ice Cube getting into one demeaning situation after another. He gets beat up and his brand new car is destroyed. All of which, he goes through to get on the good side of a woman he hopes to date. The movie has already been released on DVD. This re-release offers nothing new (besides a very short interview featurette about the upcoming sequel Are We Done Yet?).
I was more bored than anything with this movie. The approach to comedy was slapstick with lots of over-the-top situations and performances. Usually, I get a kick out of this kind of comedy. The right performer can make stupid, overused jokes/situations into a riot. However, Ice Cube did not feel right in the role and the situations were just cliched. In the end, Are We There Yet? offers far too little for a movie.