Opening 1 Jun 2017
The print version of the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney first came out in 2007. Filmed versions appeared in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Now, after a five-year pause, we have a wonderful sequel, which will appeal to a whole new group of followers, who were too young the first time around. Director David Bowers had to put together a new young cast, as the original actors (such as the original Greg: Zachary Girdon) were too old to play young kids. Here Jason Drucker excels as Greg, who is in junior high school, i.e., about 7th grade or 13 years old, although he seems younger. Charlie Wright is older brother Rodrick and identical twins Dylan and Wyatt Walters play his small brother Manny.
The three brothers and their parents, Susan and Frank, pile into the family car and take off on a trip to attend their grandmother Meemaw’s 90th birthday. Susan sees this as a chance to get the kids off of their computers, iPods, mobile phones, basically anything to do with the internet, and just “connect with each other. Read a book.” This also goes for father Frank, who, like the boys, must turn in his phone for mother’s safe-keeping. This is basically a road trip with a visit to a country fair, a mix-up with another family, sleeping in a motel, adopting a pig, all of which goes wrong in different ways. Teenaged big brother Rodrick knows it all and tries to influence Greg. Greg, on the other hand, has his own agenda; he plans to direct the family car to a Player Expo where kids play video games. Easy to do: just readjust the GPS on the car without father’s notice and you are on your way.
The film for the whole family is fast-moving, never disappoints, and presents situations to which we can relate. There are familiar songs as well as new music – about 20 songs in all. Jason Drucker is in every scene and amazing. I would love to see a whole new series based just on the baby brother, Manny, who is also amazing. (Becky Tan)