Sure, your kids will think it’s funny.
But if they’ve seen many movies, they’re going to know they’re looking at lowbrow jokes that are cheap and easily written — the kind of stuff kids tell each other in the halls at school.
Jeff Kinney’s “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” books continue to be popular with grade-school and junior-high students. “Diary Of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” is based on two of them — the third and the fourth in the series.
Once again, Zachary Gordon plays Greg, the kid in the title role. The show starts out with gross situations that involve body functions and continues to rack them up as the film devolves: urine, dog slobber … yuck. When the movie isn’t focusing on something gross, it’s OK, but it’s really nothing more than a way to occupy kids for 90 minutes of their summer vacation. It’s about as lazy as Greg himself, who wants only to play video games all summer long.
Greg’s parents don’t want him just lying around all summer, though. In fact, his dad (Steve Zahn) wants him to help out at work as an intern. Greg accompanies his pal Rowley (Robert Capron, who also appeared earlier this year in “The Three Stooges”) to a country club one day. He sees his crush object, Holly (Peyton List), there and decides to spend the summer at the country club.
How can he manage that? He lies to his dad and tells him he has a job working at the country club. Greg’s big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) learns that Holly’s older sister, and the girl on which he is fixated, is also hanging around the club and pretty much forces Greg to sneak him in so he can feast his eyes on her while he relaxes by the pool and eats junk food.
Greg faces humiliation at pretty much every turn as lies pile up on lies. Sometimes the situations are pretty funny and realistic, and at other times they’re forced and simply silly. It’s really an elongated television sitcom, with some slapstick humor and finales that won’t surprise anyone older than 12.
There’s a couple of lessons learned here, and a few laughs. You could do worse when it comes to movies. But why not just sit down as a family and enjoy the books?