30 January 2005 | guyfromjerzee
Kids will love it. Adults will suffer....greatly!
Yes, I hated this movie. But what can I say in my defense? It's a family film! Its core audience is the 5- 12 crowd, and let's face facts: kids will laugh at anything! That's exactly why I've never been a big fan of family films. I'm always bound to experience the predictable quotient of gags that involve vomit, farts and kicks in the groin - all of which are in this movie. Helen Keller can see the punchlines coming a mile away. Ice Cube seems thoroughly embarrassed to be a part of this movie. I'm sure he took on the project to hopefully broaden his demographic (never having done a PG film before). The kids, like most actors their age, constantly overact. Their nonstop bickering makes you feel Ice Cube's pain of having to escort them. Cube ends up getting into every implausible disaster you can possibly imagine. It would help if the gags had even a shred of credibility. Not to mention, every time something embarrassing and disastrous happens to Cube's character, the kids laugh like hyenas, making the gags mean-spirited as well as unfunny. The only moment I remember laughing is when the kids try to drive off in Cube's minivan. He chases after them and tries to climb inside through the sunroof. The kids crash into a giant statue of a lumberjack, holding an axe. The axe then falls down and nails Cube right in his groin. Another predictable gag, but after long periods of not laughing, I had to relieve myself in some fashion. And like in all these movies, there's a schmaltzy conclusion that's supposed to deliver a "message." When I left the theater, I saw this one mother who was so fed up with her bratty son that she picked him up and spanked him, yelling out obscenities. Obviously, this message of accepting kids for who they are, no matter how bratty they get, didn't sink through her head. So why do these films even bother? When you have a movie as detached from reality as "Are We There Yet?" it's hard to deliver a message to its audience that will linger with them.