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Movie Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

March 25, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – A 20th Century Fox Release

http://www.diaryofawimpykidmovie.com/

Release Date: March 25th

Rated G

Running time: 1oo minutes

 

David Bowers (dir.)

 

Gabe Sachs (screenplay)

Jeff Judah (screenplay)

 

Based on the book series by Jeff Kinney

 

Edward Shearmur (music)

 

Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley

Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley

Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley

Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson

Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley

Connor Fielding as Manny Heffley

Owen Fielding as Manny Heffley

Peyton List as Holly Hills

Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell

Grayson Russell as Fregley

Terence Kelly as Grandpa

 

©20th Century Fox.  All Rights Reserved.

Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordan) and his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

 

Our reviews below:

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Based on the bestselling series of kids books by author Jeff Kinney, I didn’t care for last year’s surprise hit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It was an unpleasant little film that even found a spot on my year-end worst list.  Today we get a sequel, Rodrick Rules, and I found it to be superior over the original as it thankfully relies less on gross-out humour.  It’s still predictable kids entertainment, but it is a step in the right direction.

 

‘Wimpy Kid’ Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is now in the 7th grade.  At school, he’s still one of the smallest kids in class, and the fact that the chubby and innocent Rowley (Robert Capron) is his best friend doesn’t help his ranking on the ladder of popularity.  When Greg finds himself crushing on the new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List), his tweenaged existence gets even more confusing.

 

But Greg’s real problems this time around are at home.  His parents (Racheal Harris & Steve Zahn) are still the bumbling and inadvertently embarrassing idiots they were in the first film, and he continues to be tormented by his dumb older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick).  When their mother decides that they need to do a little sibling bonding, she starts to give them “mom bucks” for all the time they spend together.

 

Despite a few genuinely amusing scenes, a lot of the humour here will likely seem slight by adult standards and it does get tiresome watching these characters be humiliated time and time again.  But I’m not the target audience for this film.  Kids in the 8 to 12 crowd are sure to get a kick out of the endless comedic set-ups, and will hopefully sympathise with the main characters.

 

The main cast of kids here is surprisingly good.  The two main boys, Zachary Gordon & Robert Capron, handle their material well and will likely have good careers even if they continue to be typecast in similar roles.  Toronto’s Devon Bostick seems to be having fun playing the relentless title brother, even if the script does sometimes take his character a little too far.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is a big step up over the original and it does supply some nicely amusing moments.  There still isn’t quite enough here to fully recommend it for adults, but I get the appeal it will have for kids.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Review by Erin V.

**1/4 (out of 4)

In this sequel to last year’s Wimpy Kid movie, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is now off to gr. 7 and still fighting with his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick).  When their parents go away for the weekend and leave Rodrick in charge, he has a party that gets out of hand, but causes him and Greg to become closer as brothers.  Meanwhile, Greg’s life is also filled with typical middle school drama.

 

Aside from a couple of amusing moments, there’s nothing here to call this a classic, and it won’t go down in history as an insightful look into being in middle school.  Rather this one is just light entertainment to pass the time – the kid equivilent of many mediocre films released for adults.  It’s an alright movie, and I certainly didn’t hate it like the first one.  The main actors are fine for the roles, and the brothers acted more like actual siblings, although the parents still seem stereotypically dumb.

 

Also, I must say, luckily for adults who’d probably enjoy another release better, the target audience for this one can be dropped off in a group at the theatre and sit through the film by themselves.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules will be best enjoyed by 9-12 year olds.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Last year, I reviewed with first Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  I was quite generous with a *3/4-star review.  When I saw the trailer for Rodrick Rules, I expected a film as least as bad as the first.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this sequel actually has some heart.  In this film, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is now in grade 7.  A new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List), has moved to Greg’s school.  She is quite beautiful and he really wants to meet her, but how can he get to know her without making a fool of himself?

 

To add to Greg’s stress levels, his teenage brother, Rodrick (Toronto’s Devon Bostick) is constantly tormenting him.  Their mother (Racheal Harris) decides to deal with this issue by handing out “mom bucks” (play money), that can be exchanged for cash every time the boys help each other.  While the boys initially get into mischief, they learn that honesty and love for each other is the way to go.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules still has some of the problems of the original.  The parents are just as goofy as before.  The humour, while still ridiculous, is thankfully not disgusting.  The evolving relationship between Greg and Rodrick is heartfelt and charming.  One gets a sense that Greg is just on the cusp of adolescence.  Unlike the first, this film handles real middle school issues such as a first crush, in a sensitive and innocent manner.

 

The three main young actors, Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick and Robert Capron as Greg’s best friend Rowley, are also quite good here.  Better than the first, Diary fo a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules will be best enjoyed by the 8-12 crowd.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Life continues for wimpy kid Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) and the rest of the Heffley family in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.  Greg is about to enter 7th grade.  Big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) is still trying to get his band, Loded Diper off the ground and takes great delight in bossing around and humiliating his younger brother.  Baby brother Manny is still an adorable 3-year-old pain, and Mom (Racheal Harris) and Dad (Steve Zahn) still don’t get what life is like for a 12-year-old.

 

What’s changed is that Greg likes a new girl at school, the pretty Holly Hills (Peyton List) and his Mom now writes a newspaper column about families.  Her main focus is sibling bonding.  One way or another Rodrick and Greg are going to spend time together and like it.

 

Like in the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a lot of the story revolves around the many humiliating things that happen to Greg mainly from his perspective.  Much of the humour and sight gags are juvenile (chocolate/poopy pants) yet hilarious if you are an 8-12  year old boy.  Unlike the first movie, there is a lot less mean-spiritedness in this one.  The gradual bonding between Rodrick and Greg has some nice and funny moments.

 

Both Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick are decent young actors.  Their portrayal of brothers is believable and I liked watching them interact on-screen.  The other young actor worth watching is Robert Capron who plays Greg’s best friend Rowley.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is a rather predictable comedy geared towards the 8-12 year old crowd.  Grown ups will find it tolerable and the black and white graphics like the ones in the books are fun to watch in the opening and closing sequences.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Review by Tony

** (out of 4)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is a sequel in the hugely successful franchise. For me the first Wimpy Kid was just about the worst film I saw last year, not only offensive but insulting in so many ways to the intelligence of people of any age. At least this film is tolerable for anyone other than the target of preteen boys that will love it. Concentrating more on the relationship between Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) and his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) the story actually makes some sense among the dumb gags and even a few clever ones.

 

The largely obnoxious supporting characters, especially the dumb parents, are kept more in the background. Some credit may go to the new director, the British-born David Bowers, up to now known for good animated comedies. The best thing I can say is that the film is safe enough for parents to leave their kids at in the multiplex while they go see something better.

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Consensus: With good performances from its young cast, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules has some amusing moments and is better than the original, although the middle-school humour will still be best enjoyed by kids. **1/2 (Out of 4)

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