I don’t have much to say in regards to “Little Fockers.” It’s a tacked-on sequel that has all the same characters as its two predecessors but little of its humor. The movie will inevitably be dwarfed in comparison to the two titans of the series, but you get a few more laughs out of the Byrne-Focker “circle of trust” and some people at Universal made a lot of money. It’s a bittersweet win-win, right?
In case you hadn’t noticed that Robert DeNiro has fallen far and sold out since his legendary pairing with director Martin Scorsese, “Little Fockers” gives the two-time Oscar winner the chance do a tongue in cheek mockery of himself. 35 years ago, he was the younger version of the Godfather. Now, he’s searching for – the worst pun of the series – the Godfocker! At least DeNiro can let it roll off his back and joke about it as the series that once could have anyone rollicking in laughter – even on TBS reruns – resorts to straight-to-DVD territory.
Unlike “Meet the Parents” (and “Meet the Fockers” to a lesser extent), which tackled relevant and relatable social topics in a funny but truthful way, “Little Fockers” goes for potty humor and adolescent immaturity to hide the changing landscape of the series. With a new director, a new writer, and a total lack of effort, these aren’t the same Fockers. But as Hollywood has yet to learn, you can’t hide a lack of enthusiasm from all corners on a movie set. Even when you throw in a beauty like Jessica Alba or enhance the role of funnyman Owen Wilson, people notice when they aren’t laughing in a comedy movie.
So if you’re willing to dumb yourself down a little or happen to be in the mood for guilty, stupid laughs, “Little Fockers” may lightly graze your funnybone. But the heyday of this series is long in the past, as are the glory days of Robert DeNiro. Wait, I think I see his self-respect in the rearview mirror as well! C+ /