* (out of 5)
December 22, 2010
Robert DeNiro as JACK BYRNES
Ben Stiller as GREG FOCKER
Owen Wilson as KEVIN RAWLEY
Dustin Hoffman as BERNIE FOCKER
Barbra Streisand as ROZ FOCKER
Blythe Danner as DINA BYRNES
Teri Polo as PAM FOCKER
Jessica Alba as ANDI GARCIA
Directed by: Paul Weitz
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
“Little Fockers” doesn’t play out as much like a movie as it does a pathetic excuse for approval… like the fat kid letting the bullies call him “Chubs.” It’s not just a blatant, unnecessary and pointless reason for good actors like Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman and Owen Wilson to cash in on a big payday. Rather it’s an abomination of cinema.
Sequels can be bad, and the reason for this is that often once a story is told, anything beyond that has a hard time living up to the original. The people behind the whole “Meet the Parents” non-saga made it work to a degree with “Meet the Fockers.” But this new “Little Fockers” shows us why movies like “Leprechaun” and “Hellraiser” spew their demonic seed on home video.
First there’s the title. Calling a movie “Little Fockers” after two films of a couple meeting one another’s parents might lead you to believe that this is a film about them having kids. Not so! Oh, there are kids involved, but they are as secondary as kids usually are in films like this.
Instead, the plot rehashes all the beats from the first movie. After Jack (DeNiro) realizes his own mortality because he had a heart attack, he reaches out to his son-in-law Greg (Ben Stiller) to be the new patriarch of the family. We retread the same jokes from the first film in which Greg tries to live up to Jack’s insane expectations, Jack starts spying on Greg and suspecting him of shenanigans and eventually Greg is threatened by the all-too-perfect nature of his wife’s friend Kevin (Owen Wilson).
See what I mean? Not much with the kids. No little Fockers doing a whole lot in this film.
Watching this film unfold into the load of cinematic diarrhea that it is made me wonder if the people behind the series realized they only had the actors contracted for a third movie if they met some arbitrary timetable. So, instead of letting the option run out or finding a decent script, they looked for any story to tell, even if it was written with the finesse of a wannabe porno scribe.
Why else would there be a forced title that does nothing but make television and radio sponsors nervous? Why else would Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand phone in their parts for basically walk-on roles? Why else would this movie even exist? Do you remember the cries from the masses, the petitioning Congress, the prayers in church calling for another “Fockers” installment? I must have missed that.
Last year, the DVD release of “All About Steve” swept in at the end of December and forced me to rethink my 10 Worst Films of 2009 list. I have a feeling that “Little Fockers” will be doing the same thing next week.
You see, it’s because “Little Fockers” doesn’t really even have a story. It doesn’t even try. Rather, it’s an assortment of gags, like a series of bad SNL sketches tied together with the same actors. It begins with Ben Stiller and Jessica Alba giving a guy an enema… and the movie just flows out from there.
And speaking of Jessica Alba, whom I will forgive for almost anything because she’s so alarmingly hot… she manages to strip down to her underwear in one scene (and yes, she looks fantastic). Even with this little gem offered to me, I cannot bring myself to like this movie.
Now, if Jessica Alba would visit me in person, wearing nothing but a bra and panties, I might change my tune.
Erm… on second thought, probably not. (But it was worth a try.)