Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 13
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
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Cinema

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

YOU SAID WHAT TO MOM AND DAD?: Greg (Zachary Gordon, left) tries to explain to his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) that he really didn’t intend to tell their parents about the wild party Rodrick had at their house the weekend when their parents were out of town. Naturally, Rodrick doesn’t believe him and is determined to make Greg’s life even more miserable than before, especially after Rodrick is grounded.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Adolescent Angst and Sibling Rivalry Escalate in Sequel

Kam Williams

Geeky Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) reluctantly returns to Westmore Middle School after spending most of the 6th grade getting picked-on by bullies. Fortunately, Greg and his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron), have patched up their differences over the summer, but they are still social outcasts as they start the 7th grade.

At the beginning of the fall semester, Greg develops a crush on Holly Hills (Peyton List). Unfortunately, Holly barely notices her awkward admirer, a sure sign that Greg is in for another very long school year.

Greg is just as miserable at home where he is tormented mercilessly by his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), and tattled on to his parents by his younger brother, Manny (Connor Fielding). Compounding the problem is their mother’s (Rachael Harris) futile attempts to discourage sibling rivalry by rewarding her sons with “Mom Bucks” for spending time with each other.

“Now, Rodrick can get paid for beating me up!” an exasperated Greg complains about his big brother whom he says is “The King of Laziness, except when it comes to torturing me.” So, when their mother’s pressure to bond backfires, Greg retreats to his bedroom and fantasizes about being adopted by billionaire parents.

Such frustrations should sound familiar to fans of the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. This comic sequel has the same sort of teasing, slapstick, and bodily-function humor that will likely resonate with ‘tweeners.’

Directed by David Bowers (Astro Boy), the movie is based on the second book of the best-selling series of children’s novels written and illustrated by cartoonist Jeff Kinney. To his credit, Bowers managed to reassemble the principal cast, most notably, Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick, as the antagonistic siblings who are at the heart of the story.

In this film, Rodrick enjoys center stage as the drummer in a heavy metal garage band. The group is rehearsing to compete for the $1,000 grand prize in their hometown’s Most Talented contest.

However, Rodrick throws a wild party in their house while his parents are out of town, and the plot thickens when Greg unintentionally tells his parents about it when they return. Rodrick is grounded and he blames his brother; the tension builds as the day of the concert approaches.

Will Rod be granted an 11th hour reprieve and be permitted to perform or will he remain angry at Greg forever after? Far be it from this critic to spoil a cliffhanger. Let’s just say, that wimps still rule in this upside-down universe where it’s cool to be square!

Excellent (3½ stars). Rated PG for mischief and rude humor. Running time: 90 minutes. Studio: 20th Century Fox.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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