Film Review: Little Fockers

The third instalment of the Meet the Parents franchise, Little Fockers is mildly amusing at times but fails to offer anything new. Hopefully this will be the final film in the series, despite the decent box office returns thus far.

As the fifth birthday of his twins approaches, Greg decides to moonlight for a drugs company in order to pay the bills. Greg is getting on well with his father-in-law Jack, who asks Greg to be the new head of the family. Chaos ensues, however, when Jack begins to have suspicions about Greg’s work…

Little Fockers is incredibly formulaic, rehashing the same ideas and narrative devices from the first two films. There appears to be no evolution in the relationship between Greg and Jack, as the same old dynamics come into play yet again. Characters from the first two films fulfil the same roles, never straying into new territory. Furthermore, there appears to be a rather gaping plot hole for anyone who has seen the first film. In Little Fockers Jack wants Greg to take over as head of the family. It is never mentioned that Jack has a son of his own, or why he would prefer Greg in this role rather than his own son. The omission of Jack and Dina’s son could have been referred to in the rather forgettable second instalment Meet the Fockers, but this oversight nevertheless indicates lazy writing.

Little Fockers employs the same style of humour as the first two films. Innuendo is mixed together with slapstick and crude jokes. While Meet the Parents had some great physical comedy, the set-ups in Little Fockers are mildly amusing at best, rather than hilarious.

Little Fockers features many of the same characters from the first two films. These characters fall into the same patterns as the last film; there is no sense of development. Equally, none of the actors are stretched in Little Fockers. Robert De Niro phones in his performance; it is rather sad to see him parodying a role that brought him great acclaim with the ‘GodFocker’ nonsense. Owen Wilson’s Kevin was one of the funniest characters in Meet the Parents, but a poor script lets down an enthusiastic performance in this episode.

Little Fockers introduces a few new minor characters. Paul Weitz’s film has a stellar cast featuring De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Harvey Keitel. Yet Keitel and Laura Dern are underused, while Jessica Alba is at times awful as drug rep Andi.

Little Fockers is a rather tired and unimaginative movie. The promise of the all-star cast is ultimately let down by a lacklustre script that does not deliver.