Boogie Buddha posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 8 months ago

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul


Directed by: David Bowers
Written by: David Bowers
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott
Studio: Fox
Genre: Comedy
Official Site:
Plot: This Summer Hit The Road With DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Movie Review

So for the first time ever, thanks to my local news station and a couple of friends, I got free and early passes to see a movie, before the movie even arrives to theaters. That movie being, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, you can’t complain about a free movie, dude.

On social media not that long ago, people were using the hashtag #NotMyPresident, to show distastes and loathe for our 45th U.S. President Donald Trump. Now there is a new and similar parody hashtag popping up on Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Twitter, and other various places called #NotMyRodrick and #NotMyHeffley’s. Mainly because some individuals do not like that, this new film in the franchise has an all-new cast. The film may have an all-new cast, but it touches up on some very similar ground and story we’ve seen so many times before.

Growing up, I did enjoy the book series the films are based on. I even enjoy the movies to some extent. Mainly because it captures the tone, humor, and characters so well from the books. What many people, including myself dig about the first flick is the cast. The original cast featured, Zachary Gordon (Four Christmases, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) as Greg Heffley, Robert Capron Jr. as Rowley, Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley, Rachael Harris (The Hangover, Bad Words), and Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman, Daddy Day Care). They all starred in the first three films, and they honestly made the movies better than what many were expecting. Even though these movies are for kids, I always find something enjoyable in them. It is easy for an adult to completely clobber and bash a kid’s movie. On the other hand, even with the new cast, I wanted to give this a chance, be fair, and put myself in the mindset of a kid watching this. Honestly, if you are a little kid watching this, I think you will be entertained. If you are a teenager or adult, you will feel like you’ve seen this film before.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the fourth film in the franchise but it is the ninth book in the series (yah see I know my wimpy kid economics). The official synopsis from Twentieth Century Fox says, “A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.” What were the two words that you got out of that entire synopsis? Exactly, road trip, and from there a new cast does the old story of crazy sh*t happens on the road trip. But that’s something I want to mention next, the cast.

I don’t think the cast is as bad as some fans are making it out to be. Alicia Silverstone (Batman & Robin, Beauty Shop) may not be as funny as Susan Heffley (mother to Greg and Rodrick) when compared to Rachael Harris. However, Silverstone shows a new side of the character, a more dramatic, stern, and a character wanting a tighter family bond. Newcomer, Charlie Wright as Rodrick, steals the show from most of the cast. I do like the previous actor as Rodrick, but Wright manages to keep that character feeling similar, and in my opinion funnier than the previous actor. Devon Bostick is the better actor, but this story tried to get more laughs out from Rodrick, and it worked with Wright. For instance, Wright puts a frozen pizza into a safe because he thinks it is a microwave. Maybe it’s just me, but if you look at Wright and a young Keanu Reeves (The Matrix, John Wick), they look exactly alike. I’m not for a remake of Bill & Ted, but if that were to ever happen, just from looks alone you can’t help but to at least think about it. Unfortunately, Jason Drucker as our main character Greg Heffley has a way to go before audiences and fans see him as good as our original Greg Heffley played by Zachary Gordon. That doesn’t mean Drucker is bad, because he is not. It’s just that he doesn’t carry the same charisma and experience as Gordon yet. Overall, the cast at least tries to work with what they are given, and I respect them for that.

Now I think I said some positive things so far about this movie. Nevertheless, this is where I have to get a little sour. The plot is waaaay to familiar to other road trip movies. Meaning, you get all the road trip movie clichés you’ve seen already. Such as, the car breaks down, we stay at a nasty motel, taking a wrong turn, they lose their luggage, family sing along to an old school song, and a moment of reflection and realization moments before we reach our destination.

I feel like this story could have done some of this, but could have been a little more original. This isn’t a spoiler, but in the film, Greg becomes a laughing stock on the internet known as diaper hand, and thinks going to a gaming convention and meeting a famous video gamer at a video game convention will help people forget the whole diaper hand thing. Maybe the film could have done more story wise at the convention. So it’s not just the whole typical road trip comedy film.

Also, at times this movie is cheesy, and I mean cheesy like a plate of three cheese nachos at the local restaurant Lime Fresh Mexican Grill up the block. Now I like cheese, but not all the time. Like running in slow motion to the one you love to get a huge hug.
There’s not all that much to say and judge, since it is a simple kids film. Is this movie worth the long haul? In my opinion, not really, I wouldn’t pay full price to see this movie. I personally would wait for it on streaming services, and or renting it. If you have kids, I would encourage them to see something like Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, Beauty and the Beast, the new Pirates movie, or Alien: Covenant. What? I grew up watching movies like Aliens, Predator, The Terminator, and I ended up okay and mostly normal, I get by. But seriously, the story is a little weak compared to the first three, and a small part of me still wants to see where the Heffley family goes next. That is why I believe Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul earns a…

6.5 out of 10.

Other reviews of this film: Nerdy Movie Man (1/10) > Display all

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