Little Fockers (2010) – Film Review

Things go haywire once more for Ben Stiller in Little Fockers... will he ever be in Robert DeNiro's 'circle of trust'?

After it looks as though Greg (Ben Stiller) has finally been accepted into father-in-law Jack’s (Robert DeNiro) circle of trust, Jack’s suspicions over his male nurse son-in-law resurface again. When Jack has a heart attack he informs Greg that if anything should happen to him then it is Greg that will become the ‘Godfocker’ of the entire Brynes/Focker family. The rest of the movie focuses on Greg proving his worthiness to succeed King Jack. But throw in a new super sexy colleague of Greg’s and problems escalate. Jack resorts to his old spying and covert missions to uncover the truth.

Jessica Alba plays the beautiful Andi Garcia who proves to be the main obstacle in the storyline. With the introduction of Alba and the reappearance of Owen Wilson, who plays Pam’s ex lover, added to an already great cast, the film promises big things. I was expecting lots of laughs, cringe-worthy moments and a hilarious battle between Stiller and DeNiro. It was the first movie I’d actually looked forward to seeing in a long while… but unfortunately they should have left the Little Fockers alone.

We all know what to expect in this film: father and son in-law arguing and getting themselves into over-elaborate situations while the rest of the family watch on and pick up the pieces. And that’s fine; it worked in the other two movies but not in this one. For starters, the tense chemistry between Jack and Greg seems to have died a death. Of course they are opponents again but the fist fight at the end of the movie is slightly over the top and even more so when Greg injects Jack in the penis whilst being caught by little Henry Focker. Jack is unfortunately portrayed as being too vulnerable in this movie. His weakened heart and his failed attempts at spying on Greg, along with his amazement at finding out what ‘Google’ was for the first time, take some of the major elements out of his previous ‘solid as a rock’ character.

There are some flashes of the comedy that brought the other two movies alive but not enough. Not even the famous ‘I’m watching you,’ re-ignites the fiery battle between Greg and Jack. Greg’s father, Bernie, played by Dustin Hoffman, disappointingly has limited screen time. In Meet the Focker’s he stole the show with his performance as Greg’s loving, bumbling father… begging the question as to why he has an almost cameo-like appearance in this movie. Alba’s presence is a little annoying; although very beautiful she’s not very necessary and the film would have benefited if we’d seen less of her and more of Hoffman.

You may have noticed that not much has been said about the children – especially as the film is named after them. This is primarily because they are hardly in it and when they are they are quite annoying. It seems to me that they used the kids just for a funny title.

So I’m afraid to say that this film is just another example of a movie concept that has run its course. It should have stayed where it ‘focking’ was.

Best Performance: Dustin Hoffman (for all of his 5 minutes)

Dustin Hoffman was reported to have been paid $7.5 million for just five days work on this movie.

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