KIDNAPPING IS NOTHING TO JOKE ABOUT: Rodrick (Charlie Wright, center) and his wimpy brother Greg (Jason Drucker, right) are being dressed down by the police officer who saw the “kidnapped” sign that Rodrick had pasted in the rear window of their car to protest the way his mother was treating him. (Photo by Daniel McFadden 20th Century Fox, © TM and © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved)
Series’s Fourth Episode Features New Cast Up to Old Tricks
According to Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul provides an example of that saying. The comedy describes the escalating misfortunes that plague the Heffley family during their summer road trip.
The film is the fourth in the series that is based on Jeff Kinney’s illustrated children’s novels. It was directed by David Bowers who also made Wimpy Kid 2 and 3.
The movie features an entirely new cast, starting with Jason Drucker as the title character, wimpy Greg Heffley; Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott are his parents, Susan and Frank; and Charlie Wright and Dylan Walters are Greg’s older and younger brothers, Rodrick and Manny, respectively.
Wimpy Kid 4 is about a family’s cross-country outing to attend their grandma’s 90th birthday party. The mother Susan sees the drive as an opportunity for the family to bond together, so she collects everybody’s cell phones before departing.
This frustrates her children, who find it boring without their electronic devices. Rodrick calls her “the worst mom ever” and sticks a “kidnapped” sign in the rear window that leads to their being pulled over by the police.
Other eventful stops range from an overnight stay in a motel with rats in the pool and a visit to a country fair where Manny wins a live piglet as a prize. The humor flowing from the escalating insanity is mostly of the bodily function variety.
Every skit is designed to keep the target audience of young children in stitches, with only occasional asides for adults, such as the inspired homage to Psycho’s legendary shower scene.
Very Good (HHH). Rated PG for rude humor. Running time: 91 minutes. Distributor: 20th Century Fox.