One year (in movie time) on from the action of 2005's Are We There Yet?, sports memorabilia salesman Nick Persons (Ice Cube) has sold his business, launched a magazine, and moved his newlywed bride (Nia Long) and two pouty, foul-tempered stepkids into his cramped Portland apartment. Whereupon, the unexpected arrival of a bun in the oven prompts a relocation to the bucolic countryside and a too-good-to-be-true fixer-upper that quickly proves to be exactly that. Fans of the first film can rest assured that a change in the director's chair—Dr. Doolittle 2 auteur Steve Carr taking over for the presumably indisposed Brian Levant—has done little to curb the overall tone of slapstick desperation, as the game-faced Mr. Cube does battle with the forces of nature, power tools, and a raft of risible ethnic caricatures. Reportedly, this is all a remake of the popular 1948 Cary Grant comedy, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, though I'll be damned if I can remember the scene where Grant chased a CGI raccoon across his roof and crashed through to the porch below only to look up and see the little bugger waving back at him, tittering, "Ha ha, sucker!"
Cube goes fishin' for laughs.
Opens at Meridian and other theaters, Wed., April 4. Rated PG. 85 minutes.