Thursday, 6 October 2011

Little Fockers

Lowdown: The larger family now has to cope with the stresses of raising children.
First we had Meet the Parents, then we had Meet the Fockers, and now we have Little Fockers. Although the third instalment in the trilogy has Paul Weitz replacing Jay Roach on the director’s seat, all of this franchise’s films share the same key elements. They share Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro. They share a multitude of other A list stars doing minor roles, some even ridiculously minor; stars such as Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson, Jessica Alba, Laura Dern and Harvey Keitel. And they share the same humor: playing on the theme of senior Republican De Niro vs. the junior liberal Stiller to create cringe inducing scenes that, frankly, make me smile a tiny bit at best.
So, we met her parents first and met his parents second; what does the third episode bring along? Children. Little Fockers revolves around the tensions of having young children while the world continues as it always has: the need to ensure the children do well at kinder, dealing with competition between the children, the stress that having children is having on the parents and their relationship, the stress of running a household with additional mouths to feed. All of these, combined with a Jessica Alba providing the perceived stimulant for adding betrayal to the list of potential marriage destructors, are at the base of Little Fockers’ plot.
On top of all that stands Robert De Niro’s character as the ex CIA self appointed overseer who is sure Stiller is up to no good when Stiller is generally innocent. That allows Little Fockers to celebrate on De Niro’s established cinematic image, running a stream of Godfather like jokes culminating in Stiller having to inject medicine into De Niro’s dick. Yes, you read it right.
If that and a Barbara Streisand doing an exaggerated Jewish mother’s voice make your day, Little Fockers is a must; for the rest of us it’s a passable comedy we will quickly forget despite having our own real children instigated crises.
Best scene: Probably the best joke Little Fockers has to offer is when De Niro appoints Stiller to act as the large family’s patriarch, or GodFocker the way Di Niro has it. Now, try pronouncing GodFocker aloud a few times and you’ll understand where the film is leading with this joke.
Worst scene: Deepak Chopra making a celebrity appearance. Because it’s Deepak Chopra being celebrated.
Technical assessment: Following on the footsteps of its predecessors, Little Fockers offers the same rather inferior experience. This time around it’s an inferior Blu-ray, with a less than average picture and sound that is generally screen fixated.
Overall: Little Fockers has its tiny moments and its subject matter is often particularly relevant to this parent. I didn’t suffer watching it, yet I find it hard to justify giving it more than 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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