All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.All hell breaks loose when the Byrnes family meets the Focker family for the first time.
I'm in my thirties now and it probably is not very impressive that I can put words together in a basic sentence. Whereas for a two year old it might be a real surprise if they were to discuss their opinions on political matters as such with you. What is the difference? Well it is simply one of expectation. Coming to the subject of films, expectation can often make or break a film, with perhaps a poor Pauly Shore movie being better received by viewers than a poor Spielberg film partly because you expect that standard from the former but more from the latter. So it does help this film that with the very title you are informed that you are not about to witness the sharpest of comedies.
With this in mind I went in with a forgiving eye, just hoping for laughs but I was not really prepared for how most of the film is unimaginative and base. In the first film we had Greg contrast with stern father Jack and hilarity ensues; here we have the same setup again but this time Greg is replaced as a device by his parents. What this means is that the film essentially aims at the same low targets as the first film and mostly hits them. To avoiding being too boorish on this subject I will admit that moments are funny and that the casting was a nice try but mostly I just found it obvious and dull. Toilet humour, a retread of the CIA stuff and so on supposedly provide the comedy while the drama is the same superficial relationship stuff as before.
The cast mostly do their best to try and lift it. Stiller mugs along well enough but the real fun (such as it is) comes from De Niro and Hoffman. The former more or less just does his stuff again but is enjoyable enough, while the latter is at least having fun with a silly character. Streisand and Polo have lesser roles but still have a bit of fun, while poor Danner is just a plot device to try and the give the film some sort of centre. Cameos from Wilson and Nelson don't add much to proceedings and don't even get me starting on the annoying Pickren twins who are not only irritating but made more irritating by the way the film overuses them, apparently in the belief that "Little Jack" is funny and/or cute when really he is neither. Roach's direction is nothing short of pedestrian even the choice of theme music is obvious and easy.
Overall then this is a film that people who really liked the first film will enjoy. Those that just "liked" it may find that they didn't like it enough to watch it twice, which is what is happening here. The cast play it up as much as they can but really this is just an extension of the original idea done bigger but to lesser effect.
- bob the moo
- Mar 11, 2008