Little Fockers Review
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Back in 2000, when Meet the Parents hit theaters, audiences generally loved it. After all, back then, Ben Stiller was at the top of his game, and tough guy Robert De Niro was still pretty new to the whole comedy thing. Now, however, Stiller has been replaced by a new generation of funny guys, and De Niro has become relatively common in comedies. So, 10 years later, their latest collaboration, Little Fockers, just feels like more of the same.

As the third film in the franchise opens, life has gotten pretty hectic for the Focker family. As their twins’ fifth birthday party approaches, Greg (Stiller) and Pam (Teri Polo) are scrambling to make the final party preparations while their contractor, Randy (Harvey Keitel), finishes renovating their new house. With the pressures of house payments, parties, and elite kindergarten tuition weighing down on him, Greg is forced to consider a side job promoting a new drug called Sustengo.

Meanwhile, since secretly suffering a minor heart attack, father-in-law Jack Byrnes (De Niro) has been putting even more thought into his family’s future. With his former favorite son-in-law now out of the picture, Jack feels that he has no other choice but to ask Greg to step up as the family’s “God-Focker.” But when the family gathers for the kids’ birthday—and Pam’s old flame, Kevin (Owen Wilson), returns to town—Jack begins to wonder whether Greg is really the best choice for his family.

If you’ve seen the slapstick insanity of the first two Focker/Byrnes comedies, you already know what to expect from Little Fockers: the same suspicious father-in-law story, the same “Gaylord Focker” jokes, the same male nurse jokes, the same awkward, overdone comedy. And with each new installment, the same old jokes feel all the more tired and worn-out.

Fortunately, Little Fockers isn’t quite as obnoxiously outrageous as Meet the Fockers. Sure, there’s some kiddie vomit, some spurting blood, and an erectile dysfunction medication joke that might have been funny about a decade ago. But, for the most part, it’s pretty tame stuff. Of course, that’s both a blessing and a curse—because, without the overabundance of over-the-top wackiness, it’s often painfully dull. The jokes are old; the story’s been done before. There’s just nothing here to hold your attention.

Still, despite the lame comedy and predictable story, De Niro is good for a few laughs. While his character is the same overbearing ex-spy that he was in the previous two films, his crusty comedy is the one thing about these films that never really gets old.

Unless you’re a huge fan of De Niro’s comedic roles, though, there’s just no point in sitting through another Fockers movie—because even De Niro can’t save this surprisingly dull disaster.

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