Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson
|Featuring:||Robert De Niro (Jack Byrnes), Jessica Alba, Ben Stiller (Greg Focker), Owen Wilson (Kevin Rawley), Dustin Hoffman (Bernie Focker), Teri Polo (Pamela Byrnes-Focker), Barbra Streisand (Rozalin Focker), Harvey Keitel, Blythe Danner (Dina Byrnes), Laura Dern (The Headmistress), more »|
|Producer:||DW Studios, Everyman Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Relativity Media, Tribeca Productions, Universal Pictures, Robert De Niro, more »|
“Maybe the kids will bring them closer?”
Whodathunkit? Gay and Pam Cakes Focker have gone and had babies! For those who have no clue who the Fockers are and why it is so frightening that they have kids, then let me catch you up on this latest sequel to the 2000 hit “Meet the Parents,” starring Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson, and Teri Polo.
When we first met male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller), he was being introduced to his fiancée’s parents, Jack (DeNiro) and Deena (Danner) Byrnes. Jack is a former CIA operative, and anyone who dared to enter his family had to prove themselves worthy of being in the “circle of trust.” Jack never quite approved of his daughter Pam’s (Polo) choosing of Greg; he would rather she be with Kevin (Wilson) a handsome, rich playboy with eclectic taste in clothing and spirituality. Love won out, and in the 2004 sequel, “Meet the Fockers,” Pam meets Greg’s parents, Bernie and Rozalin (played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand), and after more tests and trials, the couple is married.
In “Little Fockers,” Greg continues to bumble his way through life, especially as a father. His daughter refuses to speak to him, and his son is a chip off the old block. Greg is enjoying some success in his career, but financial woes related to renovating their new home and financing private school for their son (and, of course, pressure from Byrnes to be Jack’s heir apparent—“the God-Focker”), force Greg to seek ways to add extra income. He does so by being a representative for Sustengo, the latest drug for erectile dysfunction, after being cajoled and seduced by the company’s rep, Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba). Greg tries to handle his multiple responsibilities, but in true Focker-style, he has mishap after mishap.
This film is funny, yes, as most of Stiller’s films are humorous. It does try too hard, at times, to “make” the audience laugh. With a cast of characters as rich and deep as this film, the writers and directors should not have had to rely on poor language, sight gags, and pratfalls. They didn’t need a scene where little Henry (Greg’s son) is startled by seeing his dad give his grandfather a hypodermic needle injection into his “manhood,” after Jack had taken too much Sustengo.
The oversexualized dialogue, coarse language, and adult behavior are enough to caution the Christian viewer about seeing this film. While it only has a PG-13 rating, the film is full of mature themes that should make a parent question whether a child or teen should see this film.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
Reviews of other films in this series:
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…Apart from the smutty giggles that derive from the mere mention of the Focker family surname, this third entry in the now 10-year-old comedy franchise falls flat. …
—Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle
…A waste of time… unfunny… De Niro is reduced to shilling for the cheapest of laughs in the weakest of franchises. …
—Peter Howell, Toronto Star
…Despite the title, marginally clever as it is, Little Fockers is mostly about the adult members of the unfortunately named clan. … It takes too long for the story to take off and even longer for the comedy to kick in. …
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…‘Little Fockers’ packs in all the cynicism and laziness of a tired franchise’s third chapter. … In all fairness, a more accurate title—say, Ben Stiller Conveys Abject Humiliation as Robert De Niro Cashes Another Paycheck—would stretch the capacity of most marquees. …
—Chris Vognar, The Dallas Morning News
…even by the franchise’s own declining standards, ‘Fockers’ is a wince-a-thon of crude gag sausage-making: A boy vomits in Ben Stiller’s face, Barbra Streisand delivers a speech about unilateral stimulation, Jessica Alba administers an enema. … vulgar holiday laughs…
—Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
…the least among the trio of comedies about the power struggle between a nebbishy male nurse and his menacing, control-freak father-in-law. It’s a desultory, patchwork affair — competently made, comfortably played, but lacking the heart and wit that characterized, in varying degrees, “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers.”… the whole set-up just isn’t very funny. …
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…just isn’t funny… the comedy’s gone missing, the puns are tortured (to say nothing of the audience)…
—Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
…The usual bodily liquids and penis jokes. … Apparently, because all the good jokes were used up in the first two “Fockers” movies, the wisenheimers behind the latest installment in this unnecessary trilogy decided to bring in some spew, opening a sick toddler’s mouth like a fire hydrant and letting it rip. …
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times