Meet the Fockers fails to meet expectations

Dec. 31, 2004, midnight | By Adith Sekaran | 16 years ago

Not as funny as the original but still enjoyable

The highly anticipated sequel to Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, generates laughter, despite using similar humor as the original. The movie has a superb cast including the addition of Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Rozi (Barbara Streisand) Focker. Another new character was Little Jack, the grandson of the stern Jack (Robert DeNiro). Little Jack is an adorable little thing, who enthralls the audience. The rest of the cast is from the prequel.

The plot is also similar to the first one, however instead of meeting the Byrnes, we meet the Fockers in Miami. The Fockers and Byrnes could not be farther different than each other. Byrnes is an uptight, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) man who runs his family with discipline. On the other hand, Bernie is a retired lawyer in Coconut Beach, Miami and his wife, Rozi, is a sex therapist. The families are so radically different that they even have different pets. The Byrnes treasure their cat, Jinx, while the Fockers embrace their dog, Moses.

The movie begins with Gaylord "Greg" Focker (Ben Stiller), a male nurse, delivering a baby for the first time. The father of the child wants to name the boy after him, but when realizes his name is Gaylord he has second thoughts. The next hilarious scene comes when Greg and his fiancée, Pam Byrnes (Teri Polo), depart for the airport. In the original, Greg dealt with chaos. However, this time everything went perfectly.

However, Greg is back to his normal luck when he visits the Byrnes. Jack shows his newest gadget, a trailer, to impress Greg. Jack instructs Greg to throw a brick at the plexi-glass windows. Unfortunately, the brick bounces off the window and shatters the windshield of Greg's rental car. Also at the Byrnes place, we meet Little Jack for the first time. Jack has trained the baby like a protégé to make essential signals, such as poop and milk.

The Byrnes along with Greg drive down to meet the Fockers in Miami. Bernie is wearing an open Hawaiian shirt and very open to everyone. Meanwhile, his counterpart Jack is wearing a suit and does not embrace all this contact.

The Fockers and Byrnes are extremely different families and the rest of the movie highlights these differences. Bernie tells stories at the dinner table that are outright disgusting and Jack is disturbed.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie was between the pets. Moses and Jinx do not get along and they get involved into a chase. Jinx traps Moses, who eventually ends up in the toilet. Jinx, being potty trained, decided to flush Moses down. The blue Bernie rescues his dog at the price of Jack's toilet. This incident further distances the families.

The serious conflict in the story emerges while all the commotion is going on. Pam reveals to Greg that she is pregnant and wants to keep it a secret from her father.

At a mechanic shop, Jack notices a kid who looks remarkably similar to Greg. Jack questions the kid, who reveals he does not know his father, leaving Jack suspicious about Greg.

Meanwhile, the ladies have gone out leaving Greg alone with Little Jack. The two under the same roof is an extremely dangerous and hilarious combination. On their first meeting, Little Jack head-butted Greg causing a bloody nose. This time it resulted in Little Jack drunk, with a rum bottle glued to his hands. Moreover, Little Jack learns his first word, which would impress except it is a curse word.

On the Byrnes' final night in Coconut Grove, the Fockers hold a Focker party. Jack is fed up with Greg's lies and decides to go CIA on him, drugging him with the truth drug. Under the influence, Greg reveals the truth, including the shocking fact that Pam is pregnant.

In the morning when Greg is back to his lying self, his marriage is in shambles. Jack does not want to have his family part of the Fockers in any way and wants out. Unfortunately for Jack, getting out of this relationships is easier said than done. Pam and Dina (Blythe Danner) want to move forward with the marriage. This decision splits even the Byrnes with Jack leaving in his trailer, with his namesake and sidekick, Little Jack.

Greg and Bernie begin their quest to find the Jacks and get the wedding back on track.

The seriousness of several scenes in this movie does not improve the movie. The directors attempted to make the plot more serious with the drugging of Greg and the secret of the pregnancy. While these add to the plot, the serious parts do not flow from the humorous scenes. The transitions appear rather awkward in scenes such as the final party and dinner. At the final party we see Bernie dancing, a humorous scene, then Greg being injected with a drug in the bathroom.

Overall, if you want pure humor and laughter without worrying about the plot, this is the movie for you. Every scene generated at least a giggle out of someone in the theater, while other scenes causes a roar. The cast does not disappoint as everyone lives up to their hype, and Little Jack is an extremely charming baby.

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a brief drug reference. It runs 115 minutes and is playing everywhere.

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Adith Sekaran. Adith Sekaran is finally a senior at Blair. Adith is a man who is a big time sports fan and can spend any day to its' entirety watching sports or ESPN. Football season is his favorite, which he spends cheering on his ‘Skins to no … More »

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