In this sequel to 2010’s surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made wimpy cool is back in an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. As he begins seventh grade, Greg and his older brother — and chief tormentor — Rodrick must deal with their parents’ misguided attempts to have them bond.
Coming off as a Junior version of Ferris Bueller, Greg Heffley is the quintessential outcast in a world where all he wants to do is fit in, be popular and date the prettiest girl in the 7th grade. His brother Rodrick has other plans and keeps thwarting his every step into coolsville and makes Gregs’ life hell until one night, when there is an unsupervised and unapproved ‘high-school’ party at there house, the brothers have to stick together to make sure their parents don’t discover their secret.
Walking into this film and not having seen part 1, I was expecting to be completely lost and not enjoy the film at all. If anything, it is such a straight forward story that you’d have a hard time NOT following along. The characters are based on a series of books by author Jeff Kinney. I haven’t read those either, but as we had heroes like Marty McFly, Ferris Bueller and Billy Peltzer when I was in my early teens, the character of Greg Heffley is this (pre-teens) generations version of these characters.
Some of the situations in the film are a bit mean spirited and I’m glad for these moments as they really do capture what it’s like being that age. When watching a kids film, you have to seperate yourself from the movie in that it’s not made for your demographic (36 year old males) and that for the people who it’s made for – is it too adult, too kiddy like etc. Thankfully this film has a very warm heart at the centre of the story and although it’s aimed at kids, it does really hit the right notes for all ages.
The cast are spot on in there roles, the parents Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris come off as a little broad, but apart from that, the cast is great. It was also nice to see an unrecognizable Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) in a supporting role.
For a kids film, I haven’t laughed out loud in a cinema like I did in this film for ages. It really is fun for the whole family and it connects with the wimpy kid inside all of us.
I give this film 3 out of 5
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules opens in cinemas in Australia on April 14th 2011