Running Time: 98 minutes
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand, Jessica Alba, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Laura Dern, Kevin Hart, Harvey Keitel
Directed By: Paul Weitz
Rating: 2.5 out of 10
The Focker family is back and they are throwing their twins a huge birthday party.
I was never a huge fan of this franchise so this was not high on my list of films to watch. It turns out my concerns about this film were well founded as this was treading on new grounds of awfulness for a comedy. Little Fockers is the story of Greg Focker and his wife Pam. They have gotten a little older and now have twins (boy and girl) to look after. It is the twin’s birthday and all of the In-laws, friends, and family are in town to celebrate the occasion.
Not only does this movie recycle all of the jokes from the first two movies, it tries to cover that fact up by adding more characters to a film that has too many already. Most viewers will see right through the Harvey Keitel and Jessica Alba smokescreen. It seems when a film isn’t working, adding a bunch of well known actors will cure all the problems, and that is a poor mindset to have. The Focker family is back and is inducing long droughts of silence and eye rolling at an alarming rate. They may be a little older, a little wiser, a little grayer, but they are a whole lot less funny. The film starts off messy and never really recovers. The opening scene sees all the old characters reintroduced to the viewer by telephone and through video conferencing with each other. The quick long distance preamble is too choppy for my taste and leads to little comedy. Fast forward to when most of the people have arrived in Chicago for the twin’s party and the film gets under its very predictable way. The film clearly is looking to cash in one last time from fans of the first two films. The movie really centers on Greg and his father–in-law Jack. Jack doesn’t think Greg is right for his daughter Pam and Greg thinks Jack is a lunatic. The film just beats you to death with the fact that Greg is a male nurse, his real name is Gaylord, and he isn’t right or good enough for Pam. Then when you think something new finally might happen the film grabs you by the collar and bashes you some more with Jack is a former CIA operative, He has a stern demeanor, he thinks Greg is little effeminate, and so on and so forth. If this is seriously the best the Focker’s has to offer than I should start writing movie scripts.
I disliked everyone in this film from top to bottom. Greg played by he thinks he is funnier than he actually is Ben Stiller was a terrible lead and to even call him a comedian in this is being overly nice. His father-in-law Jack played by Robert Di Nero has lost his comedic way also in these movies. What started out as a funny character has degenerated into a bitter shell of what he used to be. Jessica Alba is a mess as a super over the top drug representative. Greg’s ultra liberal parents played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand offer the same tired sex material from the second film. Lastly, quasi friend and Pam’s ex boyfriend Kevin is back and played by Owen Wilson. His performance begs the question when the last time this guy was actually funny in a film?
The story is tired attempt at humor as Jack thinks Greg is having an affair with a woman from work. So Jack goes into detective mode while Greg once again has to prove he is a nice guy (for the third time). The kids offer little in the way of new material. The boy twin throws up and the girl twin doesn’t unless she likes you which is just sad writing. They even had to resort to having Jack ingest erectile medicine in an attempt at comedy but it comes off as forced and stiff (yeah I did). This series is like a fish lying on the bottom of the boat after falling off the hook. It is gasping and struggling but mostly hoping to be either put out of its misery or thrown back and given new life. When this disaster of a film comes to the end you will look back and realize you hated almost every aspect of this film. We get it Fockers, old people can’t use computers, and married couples fight, now please make us laugh.
Director Paul Weitz knows comedy (American Pie, About a Boy) so the quality of this film is shocking to me. He basically copied the first two films and called it by a new name. The addition of new characters could not compensate for a boring story and awful characters. This film is actually insulting to anyone who had to pay to watch this in theatre. Just an awful film with odd character encounters and poorly shot sequences.
I cannot recommend this film as it embodies all that is wrong with sequels nowadays.
T Factor + If you are a fan of family friendly comedy then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like original material then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Night at the Museum, Cheaper by the Dozen.