Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

 

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The fourth chapter in the family farce arrives with a new cast and low intentions.

 

diary of a wimpy kid The Long Haul

Low mileage: Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Jason Drucker and Charlie Wright 

  

David Bowers returns as director of this popular franchise – the fourth in the series – but with a different cast (his two former leading actors are no longer young enough to be believable as kids). Alicia Silverstone now plays the mother, who masterminds a road trip across America in order to surprise an elderly relative on her 90th birthday. Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) begins the adventure on the wrong foot by accidentally becoming a YouTube sensation as Diaper Hands, while his older brother, Rodrick (Charlie Wright), never misses an opportunity to torment his sibling.

 

The film aims low and achieves its goal irresponsibly. The plethora of scatological gags comes thick and thin and soon become tiresome. The great Greek comedy playwright Aristophanes invented scatological humour and used it to good effect in advancing the plot and parodying well-known figures, which would be a benefit here. However, the last five minutes are totally unexpected and truly hilarious, thanks to a clever plot development involving the younger brother and a pig. It almost – but not quite – makes the film worth seeing.

 

GEORGE SAVVIDES

 

Cast: Jason Drucker, Owen Asztalos, Charlie Wright, Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Joshua Hoover, Chris Coppola.

 

Dir David Bowers, Pro Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, Screenplay Jeff Kinney and David Bowers, from the novel by Jeff Kinney, Ph Anthony B. Richmond, Pro Des Aaron Osborne, Ed Troy Takaki, Music Edward Shearmur, Costumes Mary Claire Hannan.

 

Color Force/TSG Entertainment-20th Century Fox.

91 mins. USA. 2017. Rel: 26 May 2017. Cert. U.