The Wimpy Kid book series is responsible for millions of children worldwide wanting to read. It’s a story that families of more than one child can identify with it’s only natural that movies be made from them. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the fourth film in the wimpy cannon and in this case it’s culled from the ninth book in the series. The Long Haul proves that the adage, “the book was better” is correct, but the film still offers laughs for middle school and younger viewers.
In The Long Haul the Heffley family is taking a road trip Meemaw’s 90th birthday. Greg and Rodrick have a side plan to attend a con that’s happening a couple of hours away from it. Chaos fun, brotherly love, confusion, mistaken identity, fart jokes, sight gags and ultimately family bonding make up Dairy of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.
We’re glossing over the plot because anybody reading this who is expecting the film to be a live action Pixar version of a family road trip will be disappointed. However, if you’re 10 or younger this is a film that will meet your entertainment needs and have you laughing on the trip home. It’s a movie that is entirely built for younger audiences-and that’s ok.
Our 5 year old went with us and there was one short scene that scared him a little bit. All it did was make him scrunch up into his seat and close his eyes. Then it was over and the fart jokes, mild pranks or animal hi-jinks were back on screen to entertain him.
Adult audiences will find more than a couple faults with the film. The parents, played by Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott are wooden, a worst case stereotype and difficult to watch. This is especially true of Silverstone. Her onscreen presence in this film all but ground to a halt any enjoyment of it for us.
Thankfully, this is a movie for fans of the book and the child actors work very well because they’re provided the meat of the story to work with. Jason Drucker takes the helm of Greg Huffley for this film and will remind older audiences of Malcom, from Malcom in the Middle. The brightest (and funniest) character in the film is easily Charlie Wright, who plays Rodrick, the older brother who often torments Greg.
Bottom line, kids 5 through 10 will clamor to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. They’ll be entertained and it’ll be the film that they’re talking about for a couple of weeks. Parents will draw straws to see who goes with the kids and be mildly amused at things and situations that they’ve seen before.