The opening minutes offer so many knowing satirical barbs—about parenting, about pharmaceutical sales reps—that I had high hopes for this comedy sequel. But they'd already faded by the time the Viagra gags culminated in Ben Stiller sinking a hypodermic needle into Robert De Niro's erection. The Focker franchise has become such a swell payday (Meet the Parents grossed $166 million; Meet the Fockers, $279 million) that now everyone wants in on the act; apparently even the original stars are allowed only a plus-one, with De Niro joined by Harvey Keitel (used briefly and to little effect) and Stiller by Owen Wilson (as a flaky new-age type). Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman return as Stiller's parents from Meet the Fockers, and the supporting cast includes Laura Dern, Jessica Alba, and Thomas McCarthy. Blythe Danner and Teri Polo, as De Niro's wife and daughter, must have felt grateful that they were even allowed on the lot. Paul Weitz directed.
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