Little Fockers (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner23/12/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Lazily written, poorly directed threequel that coasts along on its strong comic cast and familiar characters without putting any effort into the script or the set-pieces.

What's it all about?
Directed by Paul Weitz (taking over from series director Jay Roach), Meet the Parents: Little Fockers (the UK title has had Meet the Parents added to it in case anyone forgot the previous two films) finds cash-strapped Greg and Pam Focker (Ben Stiller and Teri Polo) struggling to get their two young twins (Colin Baiocchi and Daisy Tahan) into a fancy private school while also trying to persuade their lazy contractor (Harvey Keitel) to finish their dream home in time for the kids' upcoming party. To make matters worse, when Greg's ex-CIA father-in-law Frank (Robert DeNiro) descends for the birthday bash, he becomes increasingly suspicious of Greg and suspects him of having an affair with sexy pharmaceutical rep Andi Garcia (Jessica Alba).

On top of that, Greg once again has to deal with the embarrassing antics of his own parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as Bernie and Roz Focker), while also suspecting too-good-to-be-true, recently-dumped Kevin (Owen Wilson) of harbouring designs on Pam.

The Good
The performances are all just as good as they were in the first two movies, with Wilson and Hoffman stealing most of the laughs. The biggest surprise is Jessica Alba, who's unexpectedly funny as Andi Garcia and delivers possibly her sexiest performance to date.

The Bad
For a film whose title (or subtitle) is Little Fockers, Little Fockers spends very little time on the actual children and this lazy, let-the-comedy-surname-do-all-the-work approach basically sums up the entire film. On top of that, gags are repeated several times within the same scene (like they're repeating them for idiots), several sub-plots and set-ups get completely forgotten (Harvey Keitel's character just disappears; Jack's lizard phobia goes nowhere, despite frequent appearances by a pet lizard) and the film bungles its emotional climax by rushing it and leaving too many plot points dangling in the process.

Finally, although there's a fairly high gag rate, there are no belly laughs and there's certainly nothing here that's as good as the set pieces in the previous films.

Worth seeing?
Meet the Parents: Little Fockers is never less than watchable thanks to its likeable, familiar characters and a strong comic ensemble, but it's also lazy, derivative and not as funny as it thinks it is.

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Content updated: 22/10/2019 05:54

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