There is a simple way to describe both "Meet the Parents" and its predecessor "Meet the Parents", they are the "American Pie" movies for the twenty to thirty something market, which want boundary pushing comedy without the need for too much juvenile gross out gags. The trouble is that whilst "Meet the Parents" managed to achieve this, "Meet the Fockers" just repeats what has been done before and although new characters are introduced too many elements of the original occur again making it funny but a little repetitive.
Having finally agreed to allow Greg (Ben Stiller - Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) to marry his daughter Pam (Teri Polo - Straight from the Heart), ex-CIA man Jack (Robert De Niro - The Score) insists that the Byrnes must meet the Fockers. But things don't run smoothly as Greg's sex loving parents are nothing like the uptight Jack causing plenty of issues between the future in-laws especially when Jack doubts whether the forthcoming marriage should go ahead after all.
As a follow up to "Meet the Parents", "Meet the Fockers" basically carries on where the original left of with Greg still trying to keep on the good side of Jack, this is where I had issues as although it's necessary to keep this theme running to provide the continuity it leads to a lot of repetitive scenes and numerous mentions of "The Circle of Trust". By the end of the movie I was starting to question whether I had watched a sequel or a remake thanks to all the repetitive in-jokes. Not all of them are bad, and some in-jokes are a welcome return and still make you smile but it does feel all a little like we've been there before.
But thankfully "Meet the Fockers" introduces us to Greg's parents Bernie & Rozalin Focker played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand which are both inspired casting. Plus of course being the total opposite of the very stiff Jack provides for numerous moments of outright hilarity. But again by the time I got to the end of the movie I was starting to become a little bored as again various jokes are over played till they become predictable and tedious. To be honest there are only so many jokes you can make around the name "Focker" before it becomes unfunny and unfortunately director Jay Roach doesn't reel in his desire to over do it.
As for the casting well it's good and bad. The bad is that Ben Stiller is starting to do the same sort of thing in many of his movies, playing the same slightly clumsy character and so although at times enjoyable is far too predictable. Plus Robert De Niro, an actor for a long time who was at the top of his profession, seems to be falling into the trap of playing the same sort of comedy characters which lampoons his own tough guy image. Not being cruel but pick any 3 unrelated De Niro comedies and watch the character, the facial expressions etc etc and they are all the same, again enjoyable but predictable.
But the good news comes in the form of Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand who brighten up a pretty much predictable movie. Don't get me wrong as both the characters are nothing special but provide the diversity which "Meet the Fockers" needs.
What this all boils down to and with negatives aside "Meet the Fockers" is an ok movie and if you enjoyed "Meet the Parents" then you are most likely going to enjoy it nearly as much. At times the comedy is repetitive and often quite crude in being blatantly cringe worthy but it works. It probably won't have you in fits of laughter like the original but it's enjoyable, worth a watch at least once and as a third movie in the series "Little Fockers" is being made you might as well watch it.