Ten years ago the idea of Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro headlining a comedy was just the next step in the evolution of the former Raging Bull of cinema, following up his amusing turns with Billy Crystal in Analyze This and Analyze That. Now, possibly sensing that they need all the help they can get, this family-friendly franchise (Meet the Parents begat Meet the Fockers) packs its third installment with a crazy menagerie of elves, merry folk and screen sages to herald the arrival of Little Fockers.
Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Harvey Keitel flash their mugs along with regulars Owen Wilson, Teri Polo and Blythe Danner and newcomers Jessica Alba, Laura Dern and Kevin Hart.
Rather than truly devoting time to tracking what could have been the comic evolution of the relationship between male nurse Greg Focker (Stiller) and his former CIA agent father-in-law Frank (De Niro), director Paul Weitz seemingly ended up dangling money before his performers to get them to react on cue in this rote, terribly unfunny exercise. It’s obvious that no one gave a fock about anything other than the cash. Grade: D-