Published on Rushes Online (April 2011)
After leaving our screens back in 2003 with the follow-up to what was then seen as “one of the funniest films of the year,” Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro return in the longly anticipated third outing of the Meet the Parents series.
This latest instalment picks up 10 years from where the previous left off, with Greg (Stiller) and Pam (Teri Polo) raising five-year-old twins, Henry and Samantha. After Jack’s (De Niro) health starts to deteriorate, Greg and his daughter Pam are called upon, with Greg shortly appointed to the new head of the family, the “Godfocker”. However as the family move back in to the Byrnes household, chaos starts to amount once again, mirroring events Jack and Dina (Blythe Danner) know only too well.
After years of speculation, production for Little Fockers began in July 2009, yet failed to impress audiences during its theatrical release in December 2010. Faced with tough competition, Little Fockers was always going to struggle, and with a seven-year delay was set to lose fans of the first two outings.
Re-enacting a concept seen before, Little Fockers fails to offer fresh material. With the return of the original cast, along with a few extra cameos along the way, newcomer Paul Weitz’s take on the chaotic Byrne and Focker families lacks the spark former director Jay Roach brought through.
Dealing with themes of death and divorce, it seems the comical edge of a laugh out loud classic has come to an end. Although featuring the occasional moment when Hoffman or Stiller get a laugh, the general feel seems aged compared to what Hollywood has to offer in terms of today’s comedy.
Little Fockers offers a great concept on paper, yet fails to impress on the screen. Staying safe rather than thinking outside of the box, this once popular franchise could have been much more inventive, clever and comical on an entire new level.