Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Stars: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn
The Buzz: It’s the second film adaptation of the popular Diary of A Wimpy Kid book series, and the first film earned S$97 million worldwide. Singapore has the honour of being the first country in the world to screen the sequel, which is directed by David Bowers (Astroboy, Flushed Away).
Story: Greg Heffley (Gordon) is now in 7th Grade, and Mom has the bright idea of getting Greg and his brother Rodrick (Bostick) to spend more time together, which results in chaos for the whole family.
inSing says:The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series doesn’t aim too high. It’s targeted at a pre-teen audience, but it’s also an entertaining watch for adults. In this sequel, the focus moves towards the family, and there’s less on schoolyard politics, so certain favourite characters such as the master of the gross-out Freggly and the strong-arm Patty, get squeezed out.
Undoubtedly, the film does occasionally come across as an overlong sitcom episode; and Greg’s situation, being caught between his rowdy elder brother and the family angel Manny, is reminiscent of the classic US comedy Malcolm In The Middle. But there’s also a greater sense of continuity in this movie, whereas the previous was almost a series of skits strung together.
This time around, Greg’s parents Steve Zane and Rachael Harris get a lot more screen- time, and they’re great as a couple figuring out how to keep the peace in the household. Bostick, who is a central figure in this instalment, also shows more acting chops.
But the film’s biggest stars are still Gordon and his rotund friend Rowley (Robert Capron). They have a sweet yet awkward charm between them, and Gordon is proving to be a skilled comic.
Not all the laughs work, and some of the segments, such as one where the two brothers throw a party, overstays its welcome. Still, the second movie in the series doesn’t try to overstretch itself, and works with a formula where everything is neatly tied up at the end.