ZOO-WEE MAMA! Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviewed


Diary of a Wimpy Kid Poster. Photo by Disney+ [Fair Use].

Edgar Echeverria, Contributing Writer

Over the weekend I checked out the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid film and I do have quite a bit to say about it. The movie marks the fifth adaptation of the popular book series and it falls really flat.

It doesn’t help that the release before this, The Long Haul, was a huge failure. It had an entire movement called #NOTMYRODRICK that trended all over social media. When the new cast was revealed, fans were appalled by some of the casting choices especially fan-favorite character Rodrick. The backlash got to a point where the original actor had to come out and give the new one his blessing before Twitter crucified him.

This new installment is essentially a reboot and we’re treated with a very rushed retelling of the first book, which is one of the movie’s major problems. With it just being under an hour we’re only treated to the first half of the book with the ending used as a way to tidy up this mess. Certain plot points such as the Wizard of Oz play get briefly mentioned and others such as when the boys try out for the Safety Patrols get brushed off quickly, which is a shame because the latter serves as a major reason for the split between Greg and Rowley’s friendship.

But what can one really do with a source material that’s already been adapted pretty faithfully before? They could’ve stuck with traditional animation and made it look like the drawings in his diary because honestly, the animation in this movie was not the greatest thing to look at, these characters just don’t work in a 3D environment.

Another missed opportunity was the lack of supporting characters in the story. While the focus is on Greg and Rowley’s friendship, the book and original movie gave some time to do a little bit of world-building and introduce us to their classmates. Here they either only get a brief mention or just a scene or two which makes it less interesting because the charm of the book series was how absurd some of the kids you meet in middle school can be.

If there’s one thing to take away from watching this movie, it is that childhood is when you idolize Greg, adulthood is realizing Rowley makes more sense.