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Gavin Grades The Movies



Little Fockers

Face it!  You thought it too.  You could be the biggest fan of the Meet the Parents series in the world, but when you saw the title Little Fockers pop up on a trailer last summer, you totally thought "Jump the Shark!"  You're totally right for thinking that; this truly is an unneeded sequel, as was the last one.  The good news is that it's not that bad but it is keeping up with the downward progression the series is going.  Little Fockers picks up the story a few years after Meet the Fockers and now we find Ben Stiller and Teri Polo (Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers) raising a pair of twins and living in Chicago.  The plot is insultingly simple in that it draws all the characters together just to celebrate the twins' birthday.  Then more of the same jokes that have warn out their welcome a long time ago continue.  Robert DeNiro is back as the scary, overbearing patriarch of the family and him and Stiller continue their waltz of control and cliched jokes.  Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman are back as well as The Fockers but are far less funny and have less screen time than they did in the last one.  Jessica Alba actually gives a great performance as a prescription drug rep temptress that Stiller deals with.  That's nice because it counters the downright pointless and stupid character that Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, National Treasure) plays.  It's true that there are parts of the movie that made me laugh, yes even some of them were out loud, but the belly laughs and uncomfortable tension the original brought out are long gone.  Perhaps that's because, by now, you can spot the jokes coming a mile away.  Not to mention the fact that I've grown way tired of the jokes around the name "Focker;" I mean, "Godfocker?!"  Are you kidding me?!  Who's laughing at that?  The lackluster quality might be because this film was really hard to pull off for the studio.  None of the original creators are involved in it anymore.  Jay Roach who was the director and writer of the first one is one of the producers of Little Fockers, but I'm sure that was more of a financial decision than an artistic one because none of this shows his flair.  Instead the job of directing was handed over to Paul Weitz who gave us American Pie but also gave us The Vampire's Assistant, so take that for what it's worth.  Not to mention the fact that this movie was in trouble when it had to be reshot after test audiences hated it and they paid Hoffman and Streisand gobs of money to appear in it after they said they didn't want too and try to make it funnier.  Again, the good news is that they did.  The film is funny but it's not what it used to be.  The movie ends with a setup for another one, but for God's sake I hope it doesn't happen.  The Meet the Parents movies are starting to act just like the characters that drive the story...overbearing, annoying and won't go away. Little Fockers  (Rated PG-13) Gavin Grade: C

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12/17/2010 1:28PM
Little Fockers
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