Meet The Fockers


Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Meet The Fockers
"Nothing new is offered, although the simple concept and well-judged performances from the older crowd saves it from being disappointing."

Although a definite moneymaker, Meet The Fockers is an unnecessary sequel that works off the same formula as the original. This time, Gaylord (Ben Stiller) and Jack's (Robert De Niro) roles are reversed and it is Jack who finds himself alienated from the insanity of the plot.

With a cast who hold five Oscars collectively, Meet The Fockers promises a great deal more than it delivers. All roles are taken seriously, which is a disappointment, but the efforts of franchise newcomers Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are impressive. Hoffman gains many laughs in his madder moments, whilst Streisand plays Gaylord's mother with a relaxed grace that deserves praise. After her absence from the screen these past few years, she could have returned over-excited to regain her former glory. She doesn't, and it's much to her credit.

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De Niro is as successful in his humiliation of Stiller as he was in Meet The Parents and much of the film's comedy is derived from Jack's iron demeanour, contrasting the sexually extravagant atmosphere of the Focker household, as well as his exaggerated descriptions of the plot's awkward moments.

The title sounds as if a schoolboy conjured it up, although The Focker joke is not taken to an unbearable extreme, which is a relief. In fact, the whole film is considerably more mature than one might expect. Hoffman's househusband subverts the typical stereotype and there are knowing references to "these uncertain times," which adds much needed depth to an otherwise fluffy comedy.

Streisand gives a well-paced performance. Considering her rejection of an industry that slaughtered her ego-empowering Yentil, she returns cool, calm and collected. Tim Blake Nelson's cameo, as a state trooper, is one of the film's funniest moments, although the same cannot be said of Owen Wilson, who is not given enough to do.

Meet The Fockers is instantly forgettable and leeches off the charm of Parents. Nothing new is offered, although the simple concept and well-judged performances from the older crowd saves it from being disappointing. If the producers want a third film, they'll have to come up with something original, as this house of humour has been well and truly burnt to the ground.

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2005
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Comedy sequel sees clash of the in-laws.
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Angus Wolfe Murray *

Director: Jay Roach

Writer: John Hamburg, James Herzfeld

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, Owen Wilson, Spencer and Bradley Pickren, Alanna Ubach, Ray Santiago, Tim Blake Nelson, Shelley Berman

Year: 2004

Runtime: 115 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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Meet The Parents