Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/05/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

Does-what-it-says-on-the-tin sequel that will appeal to fans of both the first film and of Jeff Kinney's books, but it also sidelines its best character, fails to deliver on its emotional moments and is depressingly light on actual laughs.

What's it all about?
Directed by David Bowers, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 is the second instalment of the popular franchise based on the illustrated comic novellas by Jeff Kinney. Zachary Gordon returns as titular wimpy kid Greg Heffley, whose well-meaning parents (Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn) force him to attempt to bond with his teenage older brother bully Rodrick (Devon Bostick), with disastrous results. That's pretty much all there is to the plot this time round – wannabe rockstar Rodrick tries to appease his parents (at least to their faces) because he wants his band to be able to play in an upcoming talent show, but things get out of hand when his they leave him and Greg alone for the night and he throws a party. Meanwhile Greg has his work cut out trying to befriend and impress new girl Holly (Peyton List) before she finds out he's an unpopular nerd.

The Good
Gordon is a lot less irritating and marginally more sympathetic in this film than he was in the first movie, mainly because the plot doesn't require him to be quite so selfish this time round. As before, the main strength of the film is its superb supporting cast: Bostick is consistently amusing, while Harris and Zahn both get nice character moments, though the star of the show is still Robert Capron, who's excellent as Greg's chubby best friend Rowley (tellingly, Chloe Moretz is absent in this film). To be fair, the sequel does have at least one great joke: an extended horror film parody sequence where Greg and Rowley scare themselves silly by watching a film called The Foot (about a disembodied foot). This one scene is so good that it's almost enough to tip Wimpy Kid 2 into three star territory. Almost.

The Bad
That one joke aside, the film's main problem is that it just isn't funny enough, settling for occasionally amusing rather than striving for actual laugh-out-loud moments. Similarly, Capron is needlessly sidelined and the film completely fails to deliver on its supposedly emotional moments – Greg's ‘sacrifice’ in the finale, for example, is completely meaningless.

Worth seeing?
Like the first film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules is never less than watchable, but it's never as clever, as funny or as moving as it ought to be.

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Diary Of A Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (PG)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 01:35

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