Let’s be honest—if you’re going to be watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, it’s either because your kids are dragging you to go or you’ve already seen every other movie out and your Netflix service is down.
The franchise, based on the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, delivers another lackluster addition that has its moments of humor but proves to be mindless fun.
Our “wimpy kid,” Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), is on summer vacation. Like most kids, he doesn’t want to do anything other than sleep, eat, and play video games all summer.
His father, Frank Heffley (Steve Zahn), has other plans. He wants Greg and his brothers to spend every day outdoors exploring and as far away from technology as possible.
To stop his father from bugging him—and to get close to his school crush, Holly Hills (Peyton List)—Greg hatches a plan to pretend that he landed a job at a country club. Stuck in a web of lies, he finds himself in endless trouble as he tries to have the best summer vacation ever.
To be fair, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days provides some comedic moments and is good fun for young children. Both Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, who plays Greg’s best bud Rowley, embody their characters fairly well and spark a few entertaining conversations together onscreen.
The other members of the cast, such as Rachael Harris, who plays Greg’s mother, more or less serve as distracting background presences. There are countless moments when Steve Zahn and Devon Bostick (playing Greg’s older brother Rodrick) exaggerate their characters and repeatedly cross the line into irritating rather than funny territory.The plot fails to provide much substantial content other than a few mindless laughs. While the pace of the film feels fair, the screenwriters and director seem eager to wrap up the film, not without hinting at potential films to follow.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is heavily weighed down with C-list acting and provides unmemorable and mindless entertainment as weak as every aspect of the franchise. Its inability to create a lasting impression in anyone’s mind unfortunately doesn’t stop the filmmakers from milking any cash this franchise can generate, even if it means more wimpy installments.
Director: David Bowers
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Peyton List
Running Time: 94 minutes