Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand join Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in the unnecessary but funny sequel to "Meet the Parents," eloquently titled "Meet the Fockers."
"Meet the Parents," though a box office hit back in 2000, was definitely a movie that didn't need a sequel. Of course, any movie that makes money nowadays is all but guaranteed a sequel, and so along comes "Meet the Fockers," about the further adventures of Gaylord Focker (Stiller), who not only has to deal with his fiancée's (Teri Polo) parents, Jack and Dina (De Niro and Blythe Danner), but also has to manage their introduction to his own parents, played by Hoffman and Streisand. Whereas Jack is an uptight, consistently suspicious and untrusting ex-CIA prick, Greg's parents are very liberal and quirky, openly talking about their sex lives whenever they can.
There really isn't much plot to "Meet the Fockers," but then again, this kind of movie is never about plot. Like the first one, the movie relies solely on the quirkiness and contrast of its characters and how they react to one another in any given situation. A lot of people are growing tired of Stiller's "nervous" routine, which he uses way too frequently, and even I have begun to grow bored of his mannerisms, but "Meet the Fockers" proves there is still a place for his form of comedy as he still pulls his character off rather smoothly. Of course, the best match up is that of De Niro versus Hoffman, as they play too completely opposite yet hilarious characters. I have also been critical of De Niro's continuous efforts to stay away from serious dramas, but I must admit he is great in the role of Jack Byrnes. Even better is Hoffman, whose whimsical and seemingly carefree character, with Hoffman's trademark goofy grin stamped on for approval, is the star of the show. Streisand is also very good and believable. Both Danner and Polo are forced into rather dull supporting roles.
Basically, if you liked the original you'll like "Meet the Fockers." It does fall flat at times, especially in the first twenty minutes, but once the two sets of parents meet up, it's non-stop comedy until the closing credits. The movie does suffer near the end a bit as we get the typical scenes where the families overcome their differences, et cetera, et cetera, but these moments are rather brief and subtle. It does capitalize on jokes from the original, as should be expected from a sequel, but as sequels go, "Meet the Fockers"
"Meet the Fockers" is now out on DVD in an all new extended version, with over 20 deleted scenes and so on and so forth. Personally, I found the original running time just the right length, as the comedy can't possibly sustain itself for any longer. "Meet the Fockers" is funny but not great, and the deleted scenes are just more of the same. Still, if you like watching serious actors make fools of themselves, these probably will be worth it.
Of course, the real treat is a very long blooper real. Robert De Niro. Dustin Hoffman. Barbra Streisand. Ben Stiller. Enough said.
Other features include a really dull "insight into their characters" as said by the actors who played them (do actors really think so deeply about their characters, especially in a comedy like this?), a goofy documentary about the harsh demands of Jinx the cat, a featurette about the problems in creating the manary gland (the man-boob De Niro wears to breastfeed the baby), and yet another short segment that takes a look at managing twin children on the set. All in all, some of the features are good and some are not; it's the bloopers that are the real star of the show.
If you liked "Meet the Fockers," this DVD may be a good supplement to your collection. is pretty worthy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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