Meet The Fockers


Directed by: Jay Roach
Written by:John Hamburg, James Herzfeld
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra  Streisand, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo
Released: December 26, 2004
Grade: C+

Meet The Fockers is the 19th sequel to be released in Australia this year.  That’s the equivalent of one every three weeks.  Are we that short of ideas?  The problem with so many of these sequels is that they are boringly similar to the original.  Instead of breaking new ground, studios take the safe road in search of commercial success.  Well congratulations to shareholders in Universal and Dreamworks because the huge Christmas Day box-office in the States guarantees you a healthy return.

In Meet The Parents, Greg (Stiller) finally won over father-in-law Jack (DeNiro) and mother-in-law Dina (Danner).  Now the time has come for them to meet Greg’s parents.  This is important to Jack because he’s at a time in his life when he wants a “legacy”.  He only wants his daughter Pam (Polo) and her parents-in-law have to live up to his expectations.  Speaking to Greg about the union of the two families, Jack bluntly puts it to Greg - “I don’t want a chink in my chain”.

Greg’s parents are Bernie (Hoffman) and Roz (Streisand) and they will come as a huge shock to Jack.  Bernie is a house-dad and Roz works as a sex therapist for the elderly.  They are also very open about their relationship and love life.  Jack is horrified and as the weekend continues, he starts to have second thoughts about the Focker family.

If you remember from the first film, Greg’s surname is Focker.  They use this joke about 80 times in Meet The Fockers and I could not believe how often the audience laughed.  In all honesty, about 90% of the laugher in my cinema came from this single word.  Does that say enough?  The only other time I’ve seen a joke repeated so often would be amongst very drunken friends.

It’s amusing for a while but overstays its welcome with yet another far-fetched ending.  I am using this criticism for so many films of late and don’t ask me why.  There’s a scene involving a needle and some serum which starts the movie’s slide.  Half an hour later, I just wanted to get out of there.