After 10 years the characters of this Fockin’ comedy are familiar. “Meeting the Parents” broke records of hilarity. “Meet the Fockers” was a close follow-up with the addition of quirkier characters. Unfortunately “Little Fockers” is comparatively a juvenile franchise just like the name – definitely not the ‘Godfocker’. More like a loyal servant.
In case you’re wondering where the term comes from – Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), in a moment of panic after a heart attack, decides to hand over the reins of leadership and title of guardian to son-in-law Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) putting forth the question, “Are you ready to be the Godfocker?” Yes, you read that right. Jack Byrnes has come to learn that the Greg, the subject of his suspicion, analysis and criticism, is the only trustworthy man in his ‘Circle of Trust’.
With Greg taking his new title seriously, Jack takes a back seat, but not for long. Whiff of a potential affair from his trusty spying grand- daughter has him back to his old CIA ways. Only this time he makes a fool of himself. De Niro is just a mere shadow of his initial, awesome, intimidating self. Just like him the other characters seem to be relying on their trademark eccentricities without really evolving. The traits that made them so lovable and hilarious in the first movie now seem stale. The two new little Fockers have their own personalities carved out too. The twins are turning a 5 and are poles apart.
The daughter is too big for her boots and takes after Grandpa Jack, while little boy Focker has serious IQ issues which as Jack indicates, means that he takes after the Father. So even after ALL this time Greg is still the target of criticism (read: old jokes), while Pam’s (Teri Polo) ex Kevin (Owen Wilson) is practically perfect. Actually he seems plain cuckoo, what with the gymnastics, practice of eastern medicine, obsession with Pam and ‘soul stirring’ moments.
He loves the twins so much that he pulls out all stops for their party in his meadows. The opulent arrangements for this party are as unbelievable as the preceding and proceeding incidents. The former involves a drunk pharmaceutical rep, Andi (Jessica Alba) who seems to be stuck in puberty and the latter the immature antics of adults at a kids’ party.
The free–spirited senior Fockers make cursory appearances but are as (ahem) ‘in love’ as ever. The background score, dialogue and situations make references to various movies which are quite amusing. The humour is not in the timing or the wit but more about the silliness of the characters and situations. Despite the financial problems and family pressure, the movie is too far from reality. The characters have reached a level of saturation almost making it seem like they suffer from disorders.
It’s funny alright but how tasty would a meal be after being reheated in a microwave and served for a third time? You get my point. Just as the film closes, the possibility of parents and Fockers moving in next door leave a window of opportunity for a possible 4th. No thank you! The Focker has run his course.
Kudos for the attempt! But certain movies are just limited and don’t need predecessors as reminders of their greatness.