Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
(David Bowers, 2011, USA)
The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie had an undeniable charm that counterbalanced the more than occasional regression into childishness, carrying the film through sequences aimed squarely at a young, juvenile audience. The sequel, Rodrick Rules, is just the same, if not more so, and offers little distraction to a formula established first time round. As with many a high school flick, a new installment signifies a new school year, and just as George (effortlessly endearing Zachary Gordon) begins to settle into his first sophomore term, new problems arise; the arrival of beautiful new student Holly Hills (Peyton List), who barely notes his existence despite his consistent fawning, a sinister new teacher who doesn’t forgive and forget, and the insistence of his parents to bond with his older brother Rodrick, who stops at nothing to make his life hell. Cue strained, clichéd sibling rivalry, childhood angst and genre-standard toilet humour, which is more tactful than humorous.
As watchable and charismatic as Gordon is in the lead role, the film is once again owned by George’s roly poly best pal Rowley (Robert Capron), responsible for the films best lines, and hygienically-challenged Fregley, though he is vastly underused. Once you are privy to gags that are about as sophisticated as a teenage rock group with the name ‘Löded Diper’, then you know exactly what you are in for; a perfect film for the kids and a slight but not unbearable one for the accompanying adults. I’m not sure how popular these films are with their target demographic, but a third outing wouldn’t be unwelcome.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 2010. [Film] Directed by Thor Freudenthal. USA: Dayday Films.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, 2011. [Film] Directed by David Bowers. USA: Fox 2000 Pictures.