The ‘Meet the Parents’ crew are back for a third sniff at the trough – and this time the odour is stale. At least the first two films had clear agendas: first, in ‘Meet the Parents’, put-upon Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) had to win over his girlfriend’s father, Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro), an ex-CIA hard man, and then in ‘Meet the Fockers’ he had to introduce Jack to his liberal, Jewish parents (Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand). Now all we need is any old excuse – the approaching Fockers’ kids’ fifth birthday party – to bring everyone back together, including Kevin (Owen Wilson), a hippy ex-banker and old flame of Greg’s wife, and watch as damp indoor fireworks limply explode in various directions. Again, the main conflict is between Greg and Jack, but it’s a tired old battle. We’ve seen Jack’s eccentric nighttime trails before, just as we’ve seen Greg accidentally getting himself into hot water with his father-in-law (here over a mistaken case of adultery with a colleague at work). Hoffman and Streisand take a back seat, but they shouldn’t have bothered at all as the film can barely find anything for them to do, bar Hoffman trying to mine comedy from his character’s newfound love of flamenco. Worst of all, one of the main gags is poor self-parody as Jack adopts mafia stylings as he tries to nominate his ‘successor’, the ‘God Focker’. Very weak.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Hamburg, Larry Stuckey, Greg Glienna, Mary Ruth Clarke|
Robert De Niro