Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Parent Review
This latest entry in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise is aptly named The Long Haul.
Anyone watching this latest entry in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise will have to admit it is aptly named, because getting through it (even though the runtime is only 91 minutes) feels like a Long Haul. Trading in the cast that starred in the first three films (Dairy of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) for younger models, Jason Drucker now plays Greg Heffley, the journal keeper.
This tale picks up just as the family prepares for a long drive to attend the 90th birthday of Meemaw (Mimi Gould). Sadly, the only one looking forward to the party and extended family reunion is Mom (Alicia Silverstone)—until Greg realizes they will be traveling near the location of a video game convention that he would love to attend. Using a little stealth, the tween boy figures he can sneak away from the gathering and return before anyone even knows he’s gone.
With this ulterior motive, Greg straps on his seatbelt ready to endure the four-day journey. And that’s when Mom launches her next unpleasant surprise. Hoping for some family bonding time, she has decided the holiday will be tech-free. As expected, she meets with flak from her oldest son Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and her cranky toddler Manny (Dylan and Wyatt Walters). But even Dad (Tom Everett Scott) really isn’t committed to handing over his devices. After being forced to comply, plus accept mom’s hand-packed lunch full of nutritious snacks, the Heffley men hit the freeway, certain things cannot get any worse.
Of course, they’re wrong. From beginning to end, this road trip features one disaster after another. Highlights include adopting a pet pig, vomiting on an amusement park ride, being attacked by birds, getting stuck in the mud, and offending another family that then follows the Heffleys with angry threats. Slapstick kerfuffles, along with diaper and bathroom gags are abundant. And so are the lies the characters tell one another.
Unfortunately, none of the silly antics are very funny. Nor do they ever feel authentic. Gone is the charm that occasionally glimmered in some of the earlier adventures in this franchise. And although the script does eventually attempt to redeem itself with scenes of reconciliation and teamwork, it just feels like too little, too late. So, unless you’re an avid fan of the movies, or book series by Jeff Kinney upon which the script is based, you might want to steer clear of this Heffley vacation.Directed by David Bowers. Starring Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Juan Gaspard . Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release May 19, 2017. Updated May 22, 2017
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul here.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Parents Guide
Did you notice how many lies are told in this movie? What does Greg lie about? What secrets does Roderick keep? Why does Dad conspire with the boys about using his cell phone and computer? How many of their problems might they have been able to solve if they had just told the truth? How does the script use their dishonesty to create humor in the story?
Mom is desperate to have her boys put down their devices. Why? Do you have sympathy for her concerns about the way technology is eroding their family time? While she wants her older sons to break their addictions, what habit does she allow little Manny to continue? Why does her husband feel differently about these restrictions? What problems arise because of their lack of unity on these matters?
How would your family do if they had to go without devises for a whole week?