Saturday, August 19, 2017

Movie Review: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" (2017)

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Movie"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"
Director: David Bowers
Year: 2017
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

After being embarrassed online, Greg Heffley decides to use his family's road trip vacation as an opportunity to meet his favorite online gaming star at a gamer's convention. He hopes that being in this game's video will overshadow his earlier viral faux pas.

The fact that this movie has 20% on Rotten Tomatoes boggles our minds.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" is directed by David Bowers and is apparently the fourth film is the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" film series. This installment was released five years after part three, and due to the long wait, the original child actors have aged to near adulthood. This means an entirely new cast was needed for this "reboot." Jason Drucker takes over the lead role of Greg Heffley with Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, and Charlie Wright taking over the parts of his mom Susan, his dad Frank, and his brother Rodrick. When Greg gets caught on camera in a ball pit with his hand stuck in a diaper, the video goes viral, leaving Greg mortified. He comes up with a plan to undo this embarrassment by using his family's impending road trip to take a detour to a gamer's convention where he hopes to meet his favorite online gaming star. Greg wants to take a picture with and be in a video featuring his hero, which he believes will wipe away his previous shame.

We remember seeing the original "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" back in 2010, and as far as we can recall, it wasn't horrendous. We didn't really follow the series beyond that initial movie. We were aware of the first sequel called "Rodrick Rules," but never saw it and had all but forgotten the series by the time this entry was rolled out into theaters. The trailer for this movie looked awful. It was downright cringe-worthy, but hey, we've seen good movies sprung out of bad trailers in the past, so maybe that would be the case here. Unfortunately, it's not.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" is every bit as abysmal as the trailer would lead you to believe. This movie actually got a theatrical run, which even we couldn't bring ourselves to see in the theater. Now that it's on video-on-demand, we promised we would give it a fair shot. Despite being released in theaters, it has a low-quality knock-off feel, like something that was meant to go straight to DVD. It's like "Home Alone 4," but with more diarrhea jokes.

Filmmaker David Bowers treats his audience as if it were full are morons. He and Jeff Kinney, who co-wrote the screenplay, pile on one stupid joke after stupid joke in an effort to drown the audience in stupidy so they will forget it's poorly written. There is nothing clever or witty about this movie. It may have anybody above a fourth-grade education rolling their eyes more than laughing out loud. The oldest son Rodrick barely feels like a functioning human being the way he is written here. He is so stupid that we doubt he could be able to tie his shoelaces without help. They make this character so dumb, it becomes more sad than funny to watch him be an imbecile. The new Greg also feels like more of an asshole than the Greg from the 2010 movie.

There is less reliance on cutesy drawings and way, way more reliance on what they call "diaper hand" because Greg gets his hand stuck in a diaper. HA HA GET IT? IT'S FUNNY. DON'T YOU KNOW HUMOR?? The movie even goes as far as blatantly stealing a couple of jokes from older, much better movies like "Dumb and Dumber." The other "humor" mainly consists of shoddy slapstick where people getting doused with mud, people get turned odd colors by dirty hot tub water, and of course, the tried and true lazy poop and fart jokes.

If you are jonesin' for a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fix or think your kids might want to watch something like this (which let's be honest, why would they?), simply go to your wallet and set your rubles on fire. It will assuredly be a better use of your money than watching "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul." Proceed to rewatch the original 2010 movie and forget this one exists.
My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 1.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 20%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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