If you’ve got kids, no doubt you have a few well thumbed copies of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid cult books, based on the New York Times cartoon series, lying around the house. The appeal is that they’re not just funny, but full of caustic humour and flawed characters of all ages. It was obvious that these cartoons would extend their reach into the cinema before long – but would they really cut the mustard when it came to racking up a few good belly laughs and turning stick characters into on screen personalities?
We saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid recently and thought it was surprisingly funny, so we really wanted to see the sequel.
We got a chance to pop to the preview screening today of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules and it is well worth seeing. The trailer, for once, doesn’t give away all the laughs. Our ‘Wimpy Kid’ Greg has just arrived at seventh grade and his every move is dogged by his older brother Rodrick, a drummer in the band Loded Diper.
The film is not the usual kind of kids film and is pretty lo-fi – it’s not in 3D and has no animation other than in the title sequences – but it does have a number of set pieces which create a fast moving and entertaining 101 minutes.
Greg’s Mum has started writing a parenting column for the local newspaper and she’s adamant that Greg and Rodrick will sort out their differences for once and for all. First, she creates a reward system with Mom Bucks and then she grounds them while she takes 3 year old Manny and her husband away for the weekend. Rodrick immediately plans a blow out party, locking Greg in the basement. Things don’t go quite a according to plan as Manny gets sick and the family are reunited at home early. Greg and Rodrick manage to clean up the house in one hour and replace a graffiti-ed bathroom door, only to find the new one has no lock. But it’s too late, their parents are home. As their high jinks are rumbled, the boys have further punishments meted out, including a weekend at their grandfather’s retirement home, where Greg bonds with his love interest, Holly Hills.
But will the boys be brothers and friends or not? A few more adventures test their mettle and their faith in each other and that’s where I leave it to you to go and see it for yourselves and learn what the ending is.