In the parts of my life, where I considered myself started to approach films with a fervent and a near unhealthy obsession, Robert De Niro will always be one of the greatest actor. He’s a legend. “Heat,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” and especially, “Raging Bull,” will always have a dear place in yours truly’s heart here. But, that life was sadly, no more. Here he was, once again, degrading to a low-brow comedy that has lost its charm a couple of movies ago. Unless of course, if you’re into a bodily fluid and genitalia-related kind of humor, you might enjoy this film more than I do. Just like the overweight lady who sat cross-ledged a few seats on my right with her BlackBerry proudly blinking its horrid red LED and laugh un-lady like the whole freaking time.
Robert De Niro also listed as a producer of this third installment about the Focker family, so his motivation is at least, fairly clear and once again, it’s about the erratic relationship between Gaylord Focker (Ben Stiller) and his a bit not right in the head father-in-law, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro). Given the title, one might think that this film would focus more on the newest member of the Focker family, the five years-old twin Samantha and Henry. No, it’s not. It’s still about the Gaylord and Jack. Oh, if it’s slightly more forgiving, I’m actually enjoying the cast addition of Jessica Alba. But of course, she with her bedroom eyes, it was for an entirely different reason. I mean, really, check out her underwear scene. It’s probably the only worthy seconds of this film in its entirety.
Problem with this film, it offers nothing new to the previous two installments. It could be said and I totally respect the sayings, that people are willing to return to this film because they want to re-experience the chemistry (or the lack of) between Gay Focker and his father-in-law. But, for some of us, that just won’t do and to see the aging Robert De Niro nearly humiliates himself on each and every scene, pains me. He needs to make that planned/rumored collaboration with Scorsese out by yesterday if he wished to maintain his credibility as one of the greatest living actors. At least in the eye of one of his fan whose adventures in films begins with “Heat” (me).
The film is merely a re-hash from the previous two. Not that I remembered much from them, but let’s see … The making fun of the Gaylord Focker wordplay, check. It was funny the first time, completely awkward the third time. A bodily-fluid related jokes. Check. The overweight lady I told you about at the previous paragraph? She loves that scene. Me? Shuddered in fright. Oh yeah, there are also a penis related jokes, and one about a flowery description of your behind’s orifice. But hey, if that’s your cup of tea, who am I to judge? It just that, well, it wasn’t mine. I had counted the number of laughs and smiles I encountered during this film. The results? Zero laugh, and two smiles (one during the Jaws inspired scene, if you’re a girl and could spotted it, I’ll say I love you, right here and now, and two, during the aforementioned Jessica Alba’s underwear scene).
The rest of the casts were largely forgettable. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streissand only appears in few scenes and I heard the rumor that Dustin Hoffman initially refused to reprise his role (good for him) and therefore only appears in few scenes rumored to be taken during the post-production (bad for him). Owen Wilson is in his usual annoying self and almost completely unfunny, the kids were well, kids, and others were relegated to roles befitted as cameo roles.
My rating: * / **** – It pains me to see Robert De Niro in such shambles. And to think that he *also* helped produce this farce? Wow. I love Jessica Alba though, I knew that she’s always infinitely better and hotter with a dark hair.