John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey, a pair of committed womanizers who sneak into weddings to take advantage of the romantic tinge in the air, find themselves at odds with one another when John meets and falls for Claire Cleary.
Having given permission to male nurse Greg Focker to marry his daughter, ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes and his wife travel to Miami to Greg's parents, who this time around are Mr. and Mrs. Focker, who are as different from them as can be. As asked in the first movie, what sort of people name their son Gaylord M. Focker? Written by
After Little Jack, says the curse word to Jack, you can see Pam put her hands to her mouth in the background, but in the next shot, her arms are still down and then she puts her hands to her mouth. See more »
During the credits, Jack is seen watching the tapings of his secret camera, this was also done in the first movie when he watched Greg, this time he sees all of the Fockers in the camera. Also, this time, Greg realizes he's on-camera, and he has some fun at Jack's expense before revealing he's onto the surveillance. See more »
A truly shallow movie that feels more like a Hollywood cash in than the sequel the first movie deserved
I consider myself to be a big fan of "Meet The Parents." It's one of the movies from my generation that will surely live on as a classic years from now. Perhaps the most notable thing about MTP is how well it fares on repeat viewings- It's just as fresh and funny today as it was when it came out. So, there was no doubt I was excited when I heard about "Meet The Fockers." While most of the time I am wary of sequels being pointless cash ins, it was different with this. The thought of the crew from the first movie going to meet a new set of parents seemed like it could make this sequel another classic- perhaps even better than the first.
Instead of a classic, we got a movie that lacked the personality, depth, and overall likability of the first one. I can remember enjoying this movie in the theater, but knowing that it didn't quite reach my expectations. When I got it on DVD, it took one showing before I realized that this movie was not very special- it was a movie that took a terrific premise, an all-star cast, and mountains of potential, and decided to squander it all by creating what felt like a soulless Hollywood cash-in.
A good way to examine how this movie failed is to compare similar scenes from this movie and its predecessor. The one type of scene that stands out to me most is the dinner table scenes. In "Meet The Parents," the dinner table scene was one of the most memorable, everything from Greg's rendition of a table prayer to him trying to back over his previous lie about breast pumps by telling a story about how he milked a cat as a boy was classic. Instead of hilarious conversation delivered perfectly by terrific characters, we have (mostly) the same characters sitting around a table, performing shallow, disgusting sight gags, where a piece of foreskin winds up in the fondue pot. I don't necessarily dislike raunchy comedy, but it doesn't always work in this series, and unfortunately, it almost never worked in this movie.
The strong point of the original movie was the way it wove so many different awkward situations and mini-disasters together, and how it managed to be much more than the average "disaster comedy," thanks to a great script and outstanding performances from Stiller and De Niro. Thankfully, Stiller still brought his A-game for this sequel. De Niro did a fine job as well, but there are times in this movie where his character is easy to despise. In the original movie, we knew that his character was a jerk that showed respect to no one but himself, but we were still able to look at the situation and meet his actions with some recognition of understanding- I mean, who could blame Jack for being angry about Greg accidentally burning down his daughters Wedding altar? In this movie, Jack seems to be looking for reasons to bring Greg down, and instead of talking misunderstandings over like a mature adult, he simply results to despicable acts and temper tantrums to get his way.
In addition to the stars of the original movie, this movie, of course, adds the Focker parents, played by Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman. Unfortunately, I was not happy with these characters. I'm not much of a Streisand fan, so I guess it was understandable for me not to like her performance. Hoffman does a pretty good job, but his character seems too over the top to be funny at times. This set of parents are extremely sex crazed (which, of course, leads to more junior high level gross out humor) and pretty much smother their son Greg, most notably with the shrine they created for him, which is full of 9th place medals. Unfortunately, I thought they wasted the great premise of the movie with these two characters- they could have been done in a much better and smarter way. You might notice that I didn't take too much time describing these characters, but that's only because I spent as much time explaining them as the writers did creating them.
Oh, and I can't forget the worst addition to the series made by this movie- Jack's grandson, Little Jack, who is, quite frankly, an annoying little baby that's nothing more than a distraction. Giving Jack a Grandson to bring along is an idea that looked great on paper, but ended up transitioning poorly onto the screen (sort of like this whole movie ) Basically, the kid comes along to make stupid baby sounds and look cute in front of the camera. His first words provide for some fairly memorable moments, but by the time that happens, you'll have grown so tired of the kid that it won't be all that funny. The main problem about the baby is how the camera will always cut to him, to show him laughing or making some other dumb noise in response to one of the grown up's adult problems, as if he is some wise, super intelligent baby that still craps his pants. In retrospect, the baby adds a thick, completely unnecessary layer of cheesiness and kindergarten level humor to a movie that is intended for more adult audiences. Seriously, the way he is used reminds me of a way some sort of live action Nickelodeon or Disney movie would use a baby.
The pieces of squandered potential in this movie are starting to add up, and it is with sadness that I look back on this movie and see something that could have been so great be turned into nothing but a shallow, soulless husk of its predecessor.. With "Meet The Fockers," we wound up with a truly shallow movie that feels more like a Hollywood cash in than the sequel that the first movie deserved.
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