Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Rated PG 94 min. 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG) I was pleasantly surprised with the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and found its sequel, Rodrick Rules, harmless. And I feel more or less the same with the franchise's latest installment, Dog Days. But there comes a time when the luster starts to wear off. The first film is irreverent and sometimes strange, as we follow our hero — the self-centered Greg (Zachary Gordon, who's beginning to look a bit too old for this role) — as he learns to stop being an adolescent jerk. The second follows the same formula, but comes off just a bit less odd, and now that we're to part three, all of the original's charms are mostly evacuated, but Greg's still an obnoxious twit. This time around, Greg has to figure out a way to survive his summer vacation, which mostly involves him lying to his parents and friends so that he can hang out at a country club with his schlubby best friend Rowly (Robert Capron). Like the first two movies, this film moves in between comedic set pieces, centered around some slapstick and Greg screwing up somehow. Besides a painfully dumb bit involving a locker room full of hairy, naked adults, little of the comedy falls into the gross-out category, meaning Dog Days is good-natured in this sense, since there's eventually a lesson to be learned from all this: don't be a manipulative, self-centered jerk to everyone around you. Sure, that's a perfectly reasonable way to live one's life, but when your main character can't seem to remember this after two movies, it's hard to really give a damn and the lesson hardly seems worthwhile a third time around. —Justin Souther

Film Credits

Official Site: www.diaryofawimpykidmovie.com

Director: David Bowers

Writer: Jeff Kinney

Producer: Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson

Cast: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Robert Capron and Steve Zahn

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