FILM – Little Fockers – Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 22, 2011 | No Comments
FILM – Little Fockers
PRODUCER – Robert De Niro, John Hamburg, Jay Roach, Jane Rosenthal
DIRECTOR – Paul Weitz
WRITER – John Hamburg, Larry Stuckey
CAST – Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Barbara Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Owen Wilson, Jessica Alba
MUSIC – Stephen Trask
The fun trips of ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘Meet the Fockers’ spawns ‘Little Fockers’, a yet-another tale of Jack Byrnes’ (De Niro) and Greg Focker’s (Ben Stiller) continuing father-in-law and son-in-law feuds. This time it is about Jack’s doubts over whether Greg is a good father and husband. Jack’s elder son-in-law has turned out to be a no-gooder and now the pressure is all on Greg to perform. Does he? Jack is very keen to find out.
Down at their daughter’s place for their grandchildren’s fifth birthday Jack increasingly gets suspicious about Greg’s activities. A sexy, over-enthusiastic drug rep in Andi (Jessica Alba) and a confused, still-in-love-with-Pam friend in Kevin (Owen Wilson) do not help matters. Things take a turn for the worse and suddenly dismantle themselves to arrive at the right combination as well. In a jiffy, like that. Apologies happen and all misunderstandings are sorted. Leaving the audience wondering, did we do anything to miss the laughs?
Undeniably un-funny, Little Fockers is surprisingly tame and timid especially in comparison with its earlier two outings. Without the whackiness of plot points or over-the-top moments, the film becomes a bundle of marital relationship issues which are neither enlightening nor rib-tickling. The franchise keeps the tense relationship of Jack and Greg intact making it tenser as it goes, but the joyful sparring and mis-matching of wits is sorely missing. A mis-match of fates continue but somehow dissolve into a resolution almost magically.
Mr and Mrs Focker, the delightful Dustin Hoffman and delectably vivacious Barbara Streisand find very limited screen time appearing only near the climax and having not much to do even then. This absence, along with some tedious in-law issues strips the film off its edge and no amount of tepid slapstick helps. Neither does a hammy De Niro.
Ben Stiller as Greg Focker walks through his role with ease. He has more to do here, as the burden on his son-in-law status gathers and Stiller convinces even when the film doesn’t. The little Fockers, (Daisy Tahan and Colin Baiocchi) are probably the only ones with an engaging individuality but they have a limited importance to the film. Director Paul Weitz sheers off the cute-ness and adds a devilishness that spices the proceedings somewhat but beyond that it is a tedious chore, watching Greg prove his capability and innocence, something the audience has always known and something that Jack will never really be convinced of.
For a comedy film with its set precedents well-received, Little Fockers turn out to be predictable. A meandering plot and lack of zany (mis)adventures being its main un-doings. Well, then what remains becomes the question.