Zachary Gordon   Robert Capron   Steve Zahn   Rachel Harris

DIARY of a Wimpy Kid: RODRICK RULES


I bashed the first film in what looks to be an ongoing series. My biggest problem with the original one was how the director treated the audience, both children and adults, like toddlers. Thankfully, that director is out and David Bowers is in. The film flows surprisingly better and, with more of the Rodrick character and, of course, the Sarah Palin like mom, this one is tons more fun. Maybe it was just finding the footing for this adaptation; either way, I didn’t hate this sequel near as much as the first one, not that it’s a movie I would recommend.

After surviving the sixth grade, Greg (Gordon) had a terrible summer in is speedo and is glad school is back in session. 7th grade promises to be better, especially with a new student, the beautiful Holly Hills, who Greg has an instant eye for. He will spend the entire semester trying to get her to talk to him with endless embarrassing stunts. His trying relationship with older brother Rodrick, the wanna-be drummer, continues. But when mom forces them to spend time together things get worse before they gets better. Eventually, Rodrick lets Greg in on some of his manic secrets.

The healthy use of the mom, played by television actress Rachel Harris, is what really makes this film worth watching. Maybe it’s the continuation of her Sarah Palin look, but she does a lot of bizarre dancing in this movie. But beyond that, it’s her subtle mannerisms that actually cracked me up. The relationship between the parents and the children are the scenes where the film is at it's best. We really don’t care to see Greg and his middle school friends interacting unless it involves the parents and Bowers seems to understand that. Bowers has turned a movie that was only for children reading the books into something the entire family can enjoy.

Robert Capron, who plays the round faced best friend Rowley, is also a gem for this movie. If anything, Greg is the downer here. Whether it’s the acting of Gordon, who lacks a certain spark, or the fact that he looks like a 40 year old man in a twelve-year-old body, it really takes a recognized effort from the rest of the cast to make this movie work. In it's own way, I think Rodrick Rules will be the type of movie young children might actually learn something from but not even realize it and that right there is the best kind of family film you can hope for.

Final Thought – Amazing how much better a film can get with a better director.

 

Grade B-


By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Michael Woody