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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Ben Stiller
Robert De Niro
Blythe Danner
Teri Polo
Dustin Hoffman
Barbra Streisand.
Directors
Jay Roach.
Screenwriters
Jay Roach
Larry Stuckey.
Running Time
115 minutes

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Meet the Fockers
Follow up to 2000's surprise smash, Meet The Parents.


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Plot
Having met his fiancee's parents in Meet the Parents, the perenially unlucky Greg Focker introduces her family to his parents. How will ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes (De Niro) cope with the bumbling Mr Focker and his sex therapist wife?


Review
They say you can't choose your family, but Jay Roach has done a superb job in picking his familias horribilis for this follow up to 2000's surprise smash, Meet The Parents. With De Niro already in place as the surly, paranoid father-of-fiancee, the mix is enriched with the dream team of Hoffman and Streisand as Greg's all-too-easygoing mom 'n' pop. Laden with Oscars, its hard to imagine a more able team. So it's an immense shame that their collective talents are squandered on what amounts to a disappointing retread.

Despite that little teasing comment from De Niro about meeting Greg's folks, Meet The Parents didn't particularly call out for a sequel, finishing with family tensions resolved. So in order to build any kind of momentum for a follow up, the screenwriters have to pick apart the conclusion of Parents, so that De Niro and Stiller end up at odds once again, this time with De Niro suspecting Greg of hiding a secret past. But whereas in the first, comedy was derived from Stiller being the lone voice of reason in a surreal household, this pitches De Niro as the fish out of water. It's a concept which fails to illicit laughs, given that his character is an unlikeable self-important bigot who only works when torturing others, rather than being subjected to it himself.

With its broad concept, Fockers lives or dies by its set-pieces and disappointingly there's nothing in this to rival anything from its older sibling. Ripe comedy situations are raised in the script - Streisand's sex therapy classes for seniors, Hoffman and De Niro's opposing politics, a party with the extended Focker family - yet none is exploited to its full potential. The party, particularly, could have been an excuse for knowing cameos from a few members of the Stiller Frat Pack, but instead a couple of the Focker family are merely namechecked in an embarrassingly lame gag.

A few laughs are salvaged due to the sheer quality of the talent present. Hoffman enlivens his role by playing it as a cheeky schoolboy trapped in an elderly man's body, while Streisand keeps her potential caricature on the right side of bawdy, happy not to steal the limelight. It's Stiller and De Niro who sadly come off worst, doing their best with half-hearted gags yet being upstaged by a foul-mouthed baby...


Verdict
Fans of the first will find some amusement in familiarity, but with such a comically able cast this is a missed opportunity.


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Average user rating for Meet the Fockers
Empire Star Rating

Not Without Problems, But Not Without Laughs

Clearly made to capitalise on the first, hugely successful predecessor to this, Meet The Fockers begins amicably, mixing stark humour and sight gags at the expense of the more tongue-in-cheek, social faux-pas humour that was so prevalent in the first. And this does work for a while (albeit briefly), but the formula soon runs out of steam and becomes just another tiresome comedy that's entertaining but is neither original nor well written ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 22:34, 21 March 2011 | Report This Post


Less lies, more humour...

Well, simply put, this was slightly better than the first. Following the exploits of the previous film, "Meet The Parents", Gaylord Focker, Ben Stiller, introduces his fianc�e's parents, excellently portrayed by Robert De Niro and Blythe Danner to his family, with the obvious humourous consequences. Dustin Hoffman is on form and Barbra Streisand, who I honestly cannot recall seeing in anything but this franchise in the last twenty years, is not bad either as the laid-back ti... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by neopol at 13:03, 25 February 2011 | Report This Post


I love this film!!! It's SO funny and worth watching over and over again!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FanaticalAboutFilm at 09:10, 26 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

SOOOOOOOOOOOO funny, Hoffman should do less serious roles and more comedy, although he won't be able to top this one!!! 'Movie enjoyed by all' speaks for itself ... More

Posted by Wessing at 15:53, 10 July 2008 | Report This Post


RE:

I think this is worthy of 3 stars. Not bad, not great. The very definition of middle of the road. ... More

Posted by Piles at 18:25, 07 July 2008 | Report This Post


Thoughourly entertaining. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Striesand are great ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Zinatam at 16:44, 07 July 2008 | Report This Post


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