From “Meet the Parents” to “Meet the Fockers,” Gaylord Focker and his quirky family have been cherished by Americans for the past decade. However, Ben Stiller has sold out in the name of money-making, and his latest movie “Little Fockers” is a flop.
Since the release of “Meet the Parents” in 2000, the family antics of the Byrnes and the Fockers have brought laughter to the souls of many fans of comedy. In 2004, director Jay Roach released the sequel to his first hit, entitled “Meet the Fockers,” which was arguably even funnier than its predecessor. Roach chose to limit these cherished films to a duo, but director Paul Weitz sprung to create a third. This cinematic adventure has become a cinematic blunder.
“Little Fockers” outlines the current life of Gaylord “Greg” Focker, played by Stiller (“Zoolander,” “Dodgeball”) as a parent of a pair of twins who are about to turn 5-years-old. His father-in-law, Jack Byrnes, played by Robert De Niro (“Goodfellas”) has heart problems and decides to pass on the torch of family leader to Greg, who accepts with surprising confidence.
The rift between Greg and his father-in-law reaches new lows and paints an uncomfortably tense backdrop that hinders many of the jokes. While the series always had an over-the-top influx of bad situations, “Little Fockers” still has all that ridiculousness, yet the desire to laugh at it has disappeared. The plot is driven by conflicts that had been assumed to be resolved during the previous two movies. The rehashing of old arguments causes the entire film to be predictable. In terms of plot, it seems as if the first two movies were a waste to the characters since none of them have learned anything.
Meanwhile, the obnoxious Andi Garcia, played by Jessica Alba (“Sin City”) attempts to seduce Greg in order to give the aging cast and its audience something to look at. Andi’s character has little importance other than the testing of Greg’s allegiance to his family, which had already been thoroughly tested in the previous two movies, making each turn of the plot insipidly predictable. Although audience members do get to see Alba run around in her lacy underwear, it would be much cheaper to merely Google images of her with SafeSearch off. It’s obvious that her casting was not for the advancement of plot, but as a last resort to entice moviegoers into paying the 10 bucks to watch this atrocity.
The jokes in the movie include overdramatic blood and vomit, penis jokes and bathroom humor. A lot of the comedy tends to present itself more like an inappropriate child’s movie.
One may wonder if Stiller’s age has caused him to worry that his prime acting days are coming to a close. This star-studded movie, also including Owen Wilson, Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman, feels like everyone sold out in the name of cash.
Save your time and your money and avoid seeing this disaster.
Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at [email protected]