Despite its title, Little Fockers barely features children. Other things it’s lacking include laughs, coherence, and a reason to exist, what with Paul Weitz’s latest installment in this family-friction franchise simply rehashing the dynamics of the original Meet the Parents, except with more cock jokes. Though saddled with twins, nurse Greg Focker’s (Ben Stiller) most pressing responsibility remains living up to the expectations of demanding father-in-law Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), who, after a mild heart attack, appoints Greg as the heir apparent (a.k.a. the “Godfocker”) to his patriarchy throne. No sooner has the torch been passed, however, than Greg is once again bumbling and fumbling about while Jack looks on with mounting consternation, primarily with regard to issues involving erectile dysfunction pills and a sexy drug rep (Jessica Alba) now working with Greg.
Sexual robustness and marital fidelity are the guiding fixations of Weitz’s comedy, and dealt with in ways seemingly designed to further sully De Niro’s once-unimpeachable reputation, culminating with a gag in which Greg sticks De Niro’s drug-enhanced boner with a giant needle as his grandson watches in horror. Not only does Little Fockers have absolutely nothing to say about parenting, spousal relationships, or adult obligations, but it can’t even muster the energy to regurgitate Meet the Fockers‘s red-state/blue-state dynamic between Jack and the hippie Fockers (a cameoing Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand), with the film instead merely repeating the even more-stale tension between Greg and his wife Pam’s (Teri Polo) former flame, Kevin (Owen Wilson).
Amid sub-Three’s Company misconstrued romantic scenarios, men are posited by their female counterparts as sensitive morons and women are depicted by John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey’s script as bland nobodies prone to either wag their fingers at misbehaving husbands or, if they’re hot, young and single, to throw themselves at married men because, well, that’s what hot young single women do. The brief sight of Alba in skimpy lingerie provides the sole moment of genuine sexual energy; the rest of this dismal film is, à la its climactic Greg-Jack showdown, akin to a punch in the face.