Diary Of a Wimpy Kid movies review

Diary Of a Wimpy Kid movies review

Photo courtesy of Amsterdam news

     Everyone born in the 2000s is familiar with the “Diary of A Wimpy Kid”  series. The series starred teenage boy Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) as he enters middle school. These books showed a relatable, slightly cruel main character, and his overall trials and tribulations with his crazy family and lack of popularity at school. This classic series (of 15 books) proved an entertaining source of non-educational reading. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (2010), “Rodrick Rules” (2011), “Dog Days” (2012) and Long Haul (2017)” all have movie adaptations, with a new animated movie coming out on Dec. 2, but how were the movies? I sat down to watch each of the movies and here are my thoughts.

     The “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie was sufficient, riding the line of lacking. The characters and plot points added for the movie version were not satisfying. Angie (Chloë Grace Moretz), a new character, added nothing to the movie. The movie did not reflect Greg’s internal monologue as well as the books either. In the books, Greg sees everyone and everything around him as his own antagonist, while Greg almost seems to be played out as the villain in the movies. 

     “Rodrick Rules” was definitely the best movie in the series. Having clear motives and goals for each character, the movie felt neat and put together. It only had a few plot points that differed from the book, such as a roller-skating party and a different “mom bucks” to real money exchange. It felt like how a good movie adaptation should feel. It added a lot of perspective to the relationship between Greg and his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick). The movie stood out to me specifically because of the way the character Rodrick was developed. Due to the social aspects of the film and the pressure he faces, Rodrick almost becomes a more likeable character than Greg. The brothers create a stronger relationship in this movie, holding a newfound tolerance for each other.

     “Dog Days” was as good as a summertime movie could be, but my feelings about it were mixed. The beginning felt like a classic poolside movie, but the theme got lost in the plot. Many of the concepts fell through the floor, such as camping with a boy scout troop and being sent away to military school. With the detours from the original plot and the choices that the characters made, the movie felt like an overextended TV episode. This being said, it did have strong points. The majority of the gags played off well, even if the more important ones did not. The ideas of family bonding continued strongly from the second movie, upholding the hierarchical system in the Heffley household. Unfortunately, this was the series’ last triumph. 

     “Long Haul” was a stain on the entire “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. The book itself was my personal favorite, but the movie did not do it justice at all. After the third movie the original actors were aging out of their roles, and the directors decided that the series should end there. Five years later, 20th-century studios decided to hire an entirely new cast and continue the series. The movie relied entirely on cheap gags and the new writing team changed the entire personality of the respective characters. The themes of bonding from the first few movies entirely fell apart, the family seeming to hate each other with a passion. With an 18 percent             Rotten Tomatoes score, this movie is an embarrassment.

     With some successes and some failures, the “Diary Of a Wimpy Kid” movies will surely inspire some sort of reaction to whoever watches them, whether it be positive or negative. In my case, I finished the movies quite satisfied, only wishing that they had made the fourth better. With an animated version coming out in December, I only hope that the director manages to forget about the fourth movie and reflect the classic, nostalgic and wimpy feeling of the first three.