If Todd McCarthy is ripping Little Fockers (Universal, 12.22) a new one (“focking dismal…nothing but a paycheck project”), so can I. This is a franchise-killer for the simple reason that it’s just not funny. To watch it is to slowly succumb to a kind of corporate poison that spreads through your veins like embalming fluid, causing your skin and your soul to turn gray. Never again will I watch a Focker film…ever. It’s not family fun. It’s not some kind of half-okay Christmas hoot. It’s narcotized horseshit.
Robert De Niro getting buried under a truckful of sand isn’t funny. DeNiro with a raging hard-on isn’t funny. Ben Stiller stabbing his father-in-law’s erect member like he’s Norman Bates killing Marion Crane isn’t funny. Intra-family insinuations and putdowns and one-upsmanship about a lack of money or generosity or potency are not funny. Stiller slicing his hand with a carving knife and splattering at least a half-pint of blood all over his wife (Teri Polo) and parents-in-law (De Niro, Blythe Danner) is not funny. A film that won’t stop smothering its audience with images of affluent comfort and abundance is about as funny as George Orwell‘s Big Brother. And on and on. You get the idea.
“This is definitely the least and hopefully the last of a franchise that started amusingly enough a decade ago but has now officially overstayed its welcome,” McCarthy writes. “Still, this won’t stop quite a few folks from parting with some bucks in search of some holiday season yucks, the majority of them from jokes that could have originated on men’s room walls.”