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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.17%
Worth A Look: 25.69%
Pretty Bad: 11.01%
Total Crap: 20.18%

7 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Meet the Fockers
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by Erik Childress

"You Can Relax Now. It's Actually Pretty Funny."
4 stars

Even with characters like Lemony Snicket, Howard Hughes, the 11 Ocean gang and Natalie Portman in a thong, the most questions Iíve been getting the last two months are about the Fockers. Have you seen them? What are they like? Are they nice to their mothers? Every conceivable question has been asked and itís clear that audiences truly loved the original film/remake and are ready for seconds. I loved it too but was skeptical about a retread and disappointed when Al Pacino wasnít selected to play Mr. Focker. Itís with joy and a bit of relief, especially after deflating the balloon on expectations for Oceanís Twelve, that Meet The Fockers is a fine sequel; not surpassing the original, but clearly putting forth more of an effort than most follow-ups do into the script department.

The whole gang is back in the Meet the Parents sequel, right down to the director (Jay Roach) and screenwriters. They do a nice job with our association with the original by cleverly fashioning an opening series of events that re-introduces our heroís unfortunate name, plays against his rampant string of bad luck and even a meeting with an old rival on the airplane on the way back to the house of Byrnes. Greg (Ben Stiller) and Pam (Teri Polo) desperately want to set their wedding date, but not before Jack (Robert DeNiro) and Dina (Blythe Danner) get to meet the other side of the family.

Jack takes a variation on the About Schmidt camper by bulletproofing it and other trinkets ideal for cross-country traveling the Byrnes way. With their sign-language entailed grandson along for the ride, the family hauls it down to Florida where Bernie and Roz Focker (Dustin Hoffman & Barbra Streisand) await. The Fockers are almost required to be the Byrnesí doppelgangers. Where Jack is uptight, Bernie is an ex-hippie who is all about sharing. As Dina is only intimately handled on anniversaries, Roz is a sex therapist for the twilight years.

Needless to say things arenít going to go smoothly. Thereís a disastrous dinner, secrets Greg isnít up to revealing and another CIA-sponsored investigation by Jack. These are obvious retreads from the first film, but I give a lot of credit to screenwriters John Hamburg and James Herzfeld for not making them feel like old ideas. They fit right into the new adversities established for poor Greg creating some nice character moments for the actors. Bernie and Greg clearly have had trouble connecting as father-and-son. Dina looks at Jack with regret for the time and attention he seems to share with everyone else but her. Roz isnít just a wacky, overbearing mother but someone who shares a genuine love and desire to bring happiness to others. The dynamic between the Byrnes and the Fockers isnít just a superficial cloak for madcap shenanigans. It takes time to explore their eccentricities and ask questions of what is behind them.

Itís a bit trying at first for DeNiro and Stiller to reprise these characters; last played by Bobby at the height of his comic powers before films like Showtime and Godsend. Stiller, in his sixth film released just this year, has almost been playing a variation of Greg Focker from Duplex to Along Came Polly since, so its thankful that they both had a little help to ease back into their shoes. And the large majority of it comes from another inspired comic performance by Dustin Hoffman. Heís gone face-to-chest with DeNiro before in the brilliant Wag the Dog and its fun to watch him let loose with just an unabashed silliness. Hoffmanís like a kid in the comedy store here and he plays wonderfully off the equally game Streisand, particularly when it comes to their hilarious sex talks. Still, DeNiro furrows his brow with the best of them and no one delivers truth-filled speeches like Stiller.

Fockers stumbles through its third act, miscalculating immediately with a turn from Tim Blake Nelson as an overzealous cop intent on precipitating the obligatory confrontation between Greg and the two fathers. Itís merely forced writing, but why not just use Reno 911ís Cedric Yarbrough who gets two lines as the prison guard and wasted? But thatís only the last half-hour. Two-thirds of the film contains the good, solid laughs you came to expect with some nice twists to help keep it from bring no different than starting over the original DVD.

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originally posted: 12/22/04 16:20:09
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell the first one was better 3 stars
7/11/10 art A MESS! 1 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 3 stars
10/16/08 Screwball Had some funny moments. I liked it. 3 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Same schtick as the first one, but a fairly decent sequel with serious star power. 4 stars
2/09/08 Samantha P pretty funny, i love the boob! Barbara Streisand and Dustin Hoffman were hilarious! 4 stars
2/04/08 Karen Smith Whatcha mean? Mine is green! 3 stars
12/29/07 Childs, Megan Have you noticed that the people who rated this film 5 stars probably have an IQ of less 50 2 stars
8/13/07 Annonomiss Surprised I liked the sequel this much. Not bad. See 1st one first, tho. 3 stars
6/08/07 Austin Wertman terrible 1 stars
6/07/07 Dave stick with Parents 1 stars
2/09/07 David Pollastrini very funny 4 stars
2/03/07 Some Guy Desperate, unfunny money-mongering (ie: what Weinberg said). 1 stars
1/23/07 Matt Mildly amusing, but a very pale shadow of the first. 3 stars
11/02/06 bobby tired jewish screenwriting, lame fart jokes, deniro was in this?? 1 stars
10/02/06 bullit16 meh ... good for a few chuckles 3 stars
8/09/06 Anastasia Beaverhausen An overpaid cast has a ball, audience suffers; just like "Ocean's 12" 2 stars
3/09/06 Dk As good as the excellent first 4 stars
11/29/05 Sully flat out horrible...didn't make it past the 30 minute mark b4 shutting SUCKS 1 stars
9/13/05 bbbr impressive 5 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Only value here is seeing how they carry their age. De Niro has become a cartoon. 1 stars
8/26/05 EZ Should of been R, a little less sex jokes please there are 10 yearolds watching this 2 stars
8/16/05 ES Superior in almost every way to the original = actually funny 4 stars
6/11/05 Ionicera lame 1 stars
6/10/05 Indrid Cold I laughed a few times, but I was barely able to sit through the whole thing. 2 stars
5/29/05 JFK more of the same. first time was hillarious, now is nearly funny 3 stars
5/29/05 tony ok movie i would watch it again. but they should improve on the comedy a bit. 3 stars
5/23/05 Kelley Hoefle Great. It takes a lot to make me laguh and this movie made me laguh sooo hard. 5 stars
5/12/05 Beardog8 I feel embarrassed for the actors trying so hard to be funny 2 stars
5/07/05 edsandiego2 it's not that funny but Barbara is very good. 4 stars
4/27/05 louis funny, but i liked the first one better 4 stars
4/23/05 Heather Tarlecky This movie was the greatest 5 stars
4/22/05 Scott Lamont gratuitous cute baby jokes? These jokes are the film's best. 4 stars
4/10/05 Kristan anderson Better than the first. Story moves along well with few lulls. 5 stars
3/24/05 Helen Bradley Great show, excellent entertainment better than 'Meet the Parents' by a long way 5 stars
3/23/05 Victoria Ross Made me laugh. 4 stars
2/23/05 jade wiggett it rocks the best film i'v seen so far! 5 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig It will help if you are Jewish 2 stars
2/11/05 James overall it was a funnny movie 4 stars
2/08/05 Littlepurch Not exactly original but just hilarous, feel-good fun. Streisand rocked! 5 stars
2/05/05 Workman Focker wordplay and humping jokes--if you want something original don't watch a sequel 4 stars
1/24/05 Simba Better than the first one. preview made it look bad 5 stars
1/22/05 Rob McKeown Funny.. what I expected... worth a look... 4 stars
1/21/05 Jeff Woodman Staggeringly unfunny... 1 stars
1/17/05 ownerofdajoint A HOOT AND A HOLLER FOR REAL ! 4 stars
1/10/05 Brett Not sure why this is getting bad reviews, just saw it tonight and I thought it was funny! 4 stars
1/10/05 carmen greene bad,vulgar mostly porca comedia. 1 stars
1/08/05 Scarlett Waste Of Money 2 stars
1/05/05 your worst goddamn nightmare It's a little too long and the comedy certainly isn't as fresh 3 stars
1/04/05 Cobretti Horny geriatrics,humping dogs,swearing kids,and Focker/F word similarities. Wow thats funny 1 stars
1/04/05 Randy Hawk How many times can name Focker be funny and please stop all the humping jokes! 1 stars
1/03/05 dave sabine i kept waiting for something for a laugh inducing moment but alas 1 stars
1/03/05 Xavier Hernandez Not original. No surprises. No unforgettable ROTFLMAO moments like the first one had. 2 stars
1/03/05 chris. was good for a laugh...almost as good as the first, 3 stars
1/03/05 UMER not exactly as good as the first-one but still is very good 4 stars
1/03/05 Janie Manning so funny.I am still laughing.We need more laughter 5 stars
12/30/04 Jenna Furr Actually, Scott W, there were FEW poopy jokes, but worst of all, they were all LAME ones! 3 stars
12/28/04 Karen Leatherland Didn't make me laugh 1 stars
12/28/04 Landshark There isn't a serious moment in this movie, and it still gets taken too seriously 4 stars
12/28/04 michelle I loved this shit!! 5 stars
12/27/04 Lord Richard boo-urns! boo-urns! 2 stars
12/27/04 ajay a few chuckles, but overall pretty crappy. go see Sideways instead. :) 2 stars
12/25/04 SnailWithoutAShell *LMFAOROF* THE BABY SAID "ASS-HOOOOOLE" ...HOW FUNNIE IS THAT? Save your money, Dont see it 2 stars
12/24/04 Kristina Williams and I thought the first one was lame 1 stars
12/23/04 kike too jewish 2 stars
12/19/04 Ray Just regular 3 stars
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  22-Dec-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Apr-2005



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