Meet the Fockers

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Meet The Fockers (2004)

Jan 10, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Funny, true to the original

Cons:Same old cardboard cut-outs, derivative sex humor.

The Bottom Line: I don't think so.


Here it is, the meeting we've all been waiting for. I sure hope you've taken the time to refresh your memory on the first movie, 'cause you'll be facing off with the mother of all deja vu. Okay, I just wanted to make sure you're ready.

We saw a heaping spoonful of bad luck smothered upon our buddy Gregory Focker when he attempted to woo the parents of his fiancee Pam. But this adventure begins on the complete opposite foot, with Greg and Pam finding nothing but good luck all the way to the Byrnes' place. From there, Jack takes them aboard his ridiculously monstrous black motor home, and they hit the road, destination Focker Island.

Rather than a young lover vs. his lover's parents, Meet The Fockers is a knock-down, drag-out quarrel between two entire families. Adults act like kids, and kids.. well, you know. Jack and Dina now have a grandson out of nowhere, from a sibling of Pam's. Greg no longer faces Jack alone when the fit hits the shan, but his parents, the Fockers, prove to be as much obstacle as ally.

Mr. Focker (Dustin Hoffman) is your typical "good parent". He has an entire wall in his house dedicated to his son, with all his 9th place ribbons and everything. Naturally, Jack is not impressed. Greg's greatest challenge is facing the embarrassment when the Fockers reveal some new truth about him, or when the foreskin from his circumcision ends up in the gravy, or something like that.

Mrs. Focker (Barbra Streisand) helps older people with their withering sex drive, and engages in her fair share of embarrassing poor Greg. Her 21st-Century parenting techniques like putting rum in the baby bottle don't go over well with Jack.

The grandson gives Jack a chance to more or less "test" Greg's ability as a parent; otherwise, if I didn't know better, I'd say he was written in at the last second just to look cute and say "Ass-hoooo". The last time you see him, he is being taken away while Jack, Greg and Mr. Focker are being arrested. I assume we're not going to meet his parents.

Mr. Jinx makes a new friend in the Fockers' dog who likes to hump everything in sight (incase you haven't noticed, much of the humor is sex-based, like that's any big surprise).

Then there's this guy, Jorge, who looks so much like Greg that he becomes the catalyst for Jack's CIA probing. Then, to throw another monkey wrench on the whole lies/secrets/circle of trust thing, Pam is pregnant and the last thing she or Greg wants is for Jack to find out about that. You know what's really funny, in Something's Gotta Give the two leads are played by a pair named Jack and Diane; here, we have a couple who go by Jack and Dina. And what else is strange is that in both movies, a girl is referred to as "glowing" only seconds before it is revealed that she's pregnant.

A lot of little "trademarks" and characters from the original make a return: the airline stewardess, Kevin, the sports game and huddle, "I'll be watching you", the driving talk between Jack and Greg, and the little trick Jack does with his glasses before putting them on.

Ben Stiller is the same old doofus. Teri Polo seems to have actually gotten better; I didn't think she was all that great in the first one. Robert De Niro brings the same cards to the table, with a few funny facial contortions on the side. Blythe Danner gets a bit of an expanded role as Dina, finally able to vent some of her wifely frustration. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as the Fockers are fairly decent; most of their appeal is just gonna be because people can recognize them, but there really isn't much for them to do besides show us the same aspects of their characters over and over again.

As a whole, MTF is almost deliberately horrible in the most bizarrely good way. It actually starts to get good around the end of the second act, but it also leaves a few things unexplained, like how or why Ben Stiller was able to say something that later turns out to be a lie while injected with truth serum. Oh well.

So where does that leave us? Well, I don't know, I'm doin' this from the library so I only have so much time left. I'll just say that I recommend this to fans of the original and that's about it. Everybody else, save the cash, the gas and the time and go have a nice dinner or something.


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