DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The hit kids film from 2010 gets a sequel, an adaptation of the second book, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.” The whole cast returns as Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) tries to build a functional relationship with his brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick). Their parents want this to happen, but both boys continue to fight until a bizarre and mischievous string of events brings them closer together.
WHAT I LIKED
My kids are big fans of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books, and I heard about them for a while before the first film came out. Then I took them to the movie, and I really enjoyed it. They have a better edge than the Disney Channel programming, falling more in line with what you might see on “iCarly.”
Both these films are cute and whimsical. Even though this new movie is under another director, it feels very much like the first film. The characters are great, being both relateable and extreme. But even the extreme ones (like Fregley) are bizarrely realistic. After all, who didn’t know a weird little creepy dude like Fregley when they were in school?
In some ways, this story works better than the first film. Greg has grown up a bit and isn’t so deliberately mean to Rowley. In fact, when the relationship between Greg and Rodrick starts to develop, it’s quite a touching story.
Oh, and it has some nice poop jokes in it, and that’s always a hit with the kids.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Not a whole lot, actually. If you’re an adult without any kids of your own, this might be out of your realm. But I remember what it was like to be in middle school, and this movie taps into those memories. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great for the people for whom it’s made.
The Blu-ray comes with the DVD as well as a Digital Copy disc. On the Blu-ray, there’s a nice selection of bonus features, including a gag reel, ten deleted scenes, an audio commentary by the director and an alternate ending.
Like the first film, this Blu-ray also includes some additional shorts – seven installments to “My Summer Vacation” – which present more shenanigans from the characters.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Grade schoolers, middle schoolers and their families.