Written by Phil Cerroni
By Matt Mungle
Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Summer is always a memorable time. Trying to get the girl of your dreams to notice you, pretending to not play video games so your dad won’t yell at you, and of course all those outdoor wilderness adventures will fill up the weeks. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days has all that and more as the gang returns for the third movie based on the bestselling books by Jeff Kinney.
Greg (Zachary Gordon) has an agenda this summer and that is to finally get out of the “friends zone” with Holly Hills (Peyton List). However that may look in the 8th grade realm. When he finds out that she is a member of the same Country Club as his best pal Rowley (Robert Capron) he thinks he finally has an inside track. He could get sidelined though by the distractions of his dad’s (Steve Zahn) attempt at father/son bonding and his big brother Rodrick’s (Devon Bostick) all around annoyance.
These films are just fun. There is nothing heavy handed or sappy about them. They never take themselves too serious and in the end you just get some truly laugh out loud moments; regardless of your age. Kinney has a knack for writing humor into any normal daily occurrence and director David Bowers pulls it all together in swift, character focused scenes. Although the story revolves around middle schooler’s the awkwardness is relatable to all. The books are a quick read and the movies follow that same template. It doesn’t waste time with over explaining or driving the joke into the ground. It hits it solid and then moves to the next setup.
If you are a fan of the previous two films and watch them regularly the first thing you will notice is how much older the cast looks. Just going back to look at stills from the second film you can see that most of the returning characters hit a growth spurt. Gordon is filling out and though his characteristics are the same, his physique is certainly matured. If they plan on doing more films, they better shoot them all now.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is rated PG for some rude humor. I always feel sorry for people who would find anything offensive in these films. Life is full of awkward moments that we all have been a part of and to laugh at them is good medicine. Even though it centers on the boys, your middle school girls will laugh just as loud. This is also a perfect father/son film to go see. Not only will it spark some conversation but will allow some much needed bonding time as well. I give it 4 out of 5 high dives. It doesn’t try and reinvent its self but stays true to what worked in the past. Another win for the wimpy side!
Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.