Sunday, 2 September 2012

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Rating: ½

The wimpy kid is back in his third movie! Whoa! A movie trilogy doesn't sound so wimpy to me.

Greg (Zachary Gordon) and Rowley (Robert Capron) are brought to life from Jeff Kinney's popular children's book, once again. This time it's the summer holidays and Greg is willing to do everything in his power to spend time with Holly Hills (Peyton List), the girl of his dreams, even if it means alienating is friends and family.

Not so wimpy any more
I enjoyed the first two Wimpy Kid films and this one is no-exception. I found this film genuinely funny like the others, and although the film-makers have added a lot of extra padding that isn't in the original books, the jokes are spot-on. The bit where Greg goes to stay with Rowley and his parents was particularly witty - Rowley's parents are a bit over-the-top and their smothering behaviour makes Greg feel really awkward. I think we can all relate to feeling uncomfortable around our friends' parents.

Zachary is especially convincing in the title role - you can totally relate to him and yet at the same time cringe at the silly mistakes he makes and laugh at his misadventures. He clearly has a lot of potential as a comedic actor and he'll be one to watch in the future. The supporting cast are also very talented and especially well-cast — Robert Capron may not be a great actor but he's really well suited to the role.

Diary of an average kid
I've always found the challenges that Greg faces to be very believable. They're more mundane than epic, which makes them things we all struggled with as kids. For example, Greg's Dad wants him to spend the summer outside, while Greg just wants to play video games. Let's face it, we've all had the 'why-are-you-so-lazy' conversation with our parents. Diary of a Wimpy Kid just makes these challenges that little bit more outrageous and animated, pushing the comedy nicely over-the-top to keep you amused.

Wimpy plot
I liked the fact the the film had a real feel of what the summer holidays are like for kids: a mix of fun, and adventures, and boredom. But as a result of this the plot was very episodic, so it felt more like a series of linked incidents and while that's exactly what summer is like it made the film feel more like a box-set from a TV show than a fully-developed feature. It meant that there was a lot of activity but it all became a bit-mind-numbing eventually because the story never had any real focus.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days doesn't stand out much from the previous two films but still delivered on comedic value, and the characters were as lovable as they've always been. I hope that we get to visit the comical, larger-than-life world of Greg Heffley again.

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