A third one? Sure, whatever. I have this residual feeling that the last Fockers film (six years ago!) watered the brand down a bit. I do recall that Dustin Hoffman, as Greg Focker/Ben Stiller‘s dad, got the warmest notices in that film. And yet Hoffman is absent from Little Fockers. And yet the reportedly under-used Barbra Streisand (Hoffman’s wife/Stiller’s mom in Meet The Fockers) gets a clip and a name card.

Imagine the reaction if this time, just to add a little curveball element, director Paul Weicz and writers John Hamburg and Larry Stuckey had decided to throw one more character into this depraved, middle-class demimonde — Greg Focker’s cousin Roger Greenberg. A Los Angeles-based carpenter trying to work his way back into music industry, Roger is having relationship issues with his live-in girlfriend Florence (Greta Gerwig) and has impulsively decided to fly to Chicago and visit Greg to talk things out. The best bit? Nobody (not even Owen Wilson!) says a word throughout the entire film that Greg and Roger appear to be identical twins.

Meet The Fockers was basically a war-of-the-parents thing. Now, it appears, we’re back to the basic Stiller vs. DeNiro dynamic from Meet The Parents. With a new erection drug to vulgar things up a bit. (And by the way, nobody — least of all a professional nurse — stabs anyone with a hypodermic needle. The needle could easily break, of course, and you’d want to be especially gentle if you’re injecting into someone’s stand-up schtufenhauffer. I thought the original hypodermic needle-stabbing scene in Pulp Fiction was idiotic also.)

Here’s a JoBlo review of a New Jersey research-screening of Little Fockers. The guy called it “unnecessary” (how many films that come out are thought to be actually “necessary”?) but “frequently hilarious.” He says it “worked,” “had the theatre in stitches” and…well, here’s a quote: “There were at least two instances where I was in pain from laughing so hard.”

“The test of wills between Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) and Greg Focker escalates to new heights of comedy in the third installment of the blockbuster series,” says the studio-supplied copy. “Laura Dern, Jessica Alba and Harvey Keitel join the returning all-star cast for a new chapter of the worldwide hit franchise.

“It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam (Teri Polo) and countless hurdles for Greg to finally get ‘in’ with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack. After the cash-strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack’s suspicions about his favorite male nurse come roaring back. When Greg and Pam’s entire clan — including Pam’s lovelorn ex, Kevin (Wilson) — descends for the twins’ birthday party, Greg must prove to the skeptical Jack that he’s fully capable as the man of the house.

“With all the misunderstandings, spying and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack’s final test and become the new patriarch…or will the circle of trust be broken for good?”