Dan's Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Dads are wimpy, too.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (20th Century)

Rated PG for some rude humor.

Starring Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Peyton List, Grayson Russell, Karan Brar, Laine MacNeil, Connor Fielding, Owen Fielding, Melissa Roxburgh.

Written by Maya Forbes, Gabe Sachs, and Wallace Wolodarsky, based on the books by Jeff Kinney.

Directed by David Bowers.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:


As children's books go, the Diary of Wimpy Kid series certainly captures the nuances of those awkward junior high days quite well. At least that's what by Jr. high aged kids tell me, who love Jeff Kinney's thoughts on the absurd reality of kids going through puberty in a collective school environment.

Whereas the first Dairy movie (2010) explored Greg Heffley's (Zachary Gordon) relationship with his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron), Roderick Rules (2011) explored Greg's relationship with his brother Roderick (Devon Bostick) and Dog Days takes on Greg's relationship with his father (Steve Zahn).

Dog Days begins at the end of the school year as Greg contemplates how he will spend the summer, mostly playing video games but also hoping to develop a little romance with the lovely Holly Hills (Peyton List).

Greg's plans are dashed when Dad strips away all video game and TV privileges, forcing the boy to spend time with Rowley at a local country club. Rowley's parents are members of a country club, and tt turns out Holly's family also has a membership. When his dad signs him up for everything from "Wilderness Explorers" (Boy Scouts), to getting a dog to a summer internship, Greg makes up a fake job at the country club, allowing him to spend more time with Holly and keep from spending too much time with Dad, who doesn't share most of his interests. Adding to the drama is Roderick, who threatens to spill the beans on Greg's deception, which could lead to an enrollment in a private militaristic school in the Fall.

The truth eventually comes out, but will Greg be able to salvage his relationship with Dad, Rowley,and Holly?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Dog Days is on par with the other two films. It's sappy, silly, and juvenile, but kids will like it and understand the humor. The film gets slow in the middle and appears to be noting more than a string of sight gags or skits at times, but in the end, it sticks to the formula. The performances in Dog Days are adequate, but Zahn anchors an otherwise mediocre cast.

My kids love the Wimpy Kid books and movies, and Dog Days is sure to keep them chuckling. I'm sure most kids who are surviving the nightmare that Jr. high can be will agree. It's sort of like the 'John Hughes' movie series for kids going through puberty, but without all the 80s music.




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