Rated PG for some mild rude humor and mischief, 96 minutes
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” a fun family film
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” follows more adventures of Greg Heffley that’s based on the best-selling children’s books of the same name by Jeff Kinney and is a sequel to last year’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” “Rodrick Rules” is suitable, clean fun and a modest family film, though it’s a little redundant and some younger kids may be easily bored with it.
Our wimpy hero Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), now 12 and enters seventh grade , he and his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), must deal with their parents' misguided attempts to have them bond, for which their mother, Susan (Rachael Harris), will give them “Mom Bucks.” All while Greg tries every attempt to impress his crush, the new girl in town, Holly Hills (Peyton List). Also, he must keep a party Rodrick threw a secret from his parents to avoid getting in both of them in trouble, especially Rodrick, who is looking forward to playing in the big city-wide talent show with his rock band, Loded Diper.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” is more of the same amusement and will likely appeal to the fans of Kinney’s book series and the first film, though it all has a TV-series feel to it. It’s enjoyable and sprightly but predictable, and some of it is loose filler, with some gags staged for easy laughs (one bit early on involving a candy bar is one of the better ones). Gordon and Bostick are engaging leads and help the thinly plotted film along. Red-haired chubby Capron nearly steals the show as Greg’s best friend Rowley, who is to Greg as Larry Mundello was to Beaver Cleaver in the 1950’s TV show “Leave It to Beaver.”
As a matter of fact, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” would play better on the small screen, to the “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “iCarly” set, where this type of thing would be seen by more audiences in this demographic and it would end cleanly and more efficiently within 30 minutes. Younger kids might get easily bored with the 96 minute running-time, which is fairly short for a feature film but overlong for what it is.
But you can’t fault “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in its good messages (be close to your siblings!) and the fact it actually provides decent family entertainment, which seems to be in short measure these days.
Wes's Grade: B-