A wimpy attempt at comedy…
I’m admittedly not too familiar with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise. From my understanding, this is the third movie in the franchise. My knowledge of Diary of a Wimpy kid is limited to browsing through my younger sister’s collection of these books and noticing the cool, if simple, illustrations that seem to be a trademark.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is about a kid named Greg Heffley and his dysfunctional family. Summer vacation has just started and he is looking forward to just relaxing. This is thwarted when his mother decides a cross country family road trip to visit Grandma is in order. Distraught at first, Greg realizes that their trip will run them close to Indianapolis, Indiana for a gaming convention where he can have a chance to costar in a video with YouTube gaming sensation MacDigby. As they go on their road trip, Greg starts to hatch a plan that will make this road trip one to remember.
This is a family comedy that is clearly geared towards younger children. Which is fine. I’m not opposed to that at all. Diary of a Wimpy Kid seems to be popular franchise so it makes sense to get films about the books. The thing is those books are highlighted by the illustrations that are just as much a part of Greg’s journal as the written entries themselves. Going into this movie, I expected more animation to come into play here. We do get some animation here and there that shows a cartoony take on random events that happen in the movie. The key word is random as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to when the animations occur. The lack of animation here is a disappointment.
Without the animation, this is just a mediocre National Lampoon Family Vacation wannabe. The performances are just ok. They’re exemplified by flighty cluelessness that is typical of these types of comedies. Alicia Silverstone was nice however.
There were some funny moments here and there. The Diaper Hands is clearly the best part and is something the movie reminds you of throughout. However, there doesn’t seem to be enough humor here as what we do get seems forced. This is especially magnified when you consider the main character just isn’t that likeable. I don’t know if that’s how his character always is, but Greg was a selfish, rude young kid. The wimpy part of him doesn’t stand out that much.
The main thing that Diary of a Wimpy Kid has going for it is that it is a family film when there are not too many of them out right now. Its mediocre however. If you’re a family deciding to make it a movie night, staying in and renting might be a better bet than paying to see this.