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Movie Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

August 3, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days – A 20th Century Fox Release

Release Date: August 3rd, 2012

Rated G

Running time: 94 minutes

David Bowers (dir.)

Maya Forbes (screenplay)

Gabe Sachs (screenplay)

Wallace Wolodarsky (screenplay)

Based on the books by Jeff Kinney

Edward Shearmur (music)

Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley

Steve Zahn as Frank Heffley

Robert Capron as Rowley Jefferson

Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley

Rachael Harris as Susan Heffley

Peyton List as Holly Hills

Melissa Roxburgh as Heather Hills

Grayson Russell as Fregley

Karan Brar as Chirag

Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell

©20th Century Fox.  All Rights Reserved.

Rowley (Robert Capron) and Greg (Zachary Gordon) in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

Our reviews below:


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

Jeff Kinney’s literary characters are back on screen in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the third film in the popular series.  I wasn’t a fan of the first movie back in 2010, but the 2011 follow up Rodrick Rules was a big step up in terms of quality and I liked it well enough for what it was.  I guess the characters have really started to grow on me, because Dog Days is a pleasant diversion that continues to take the series in the right direction.

Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is now thirteen and wants to waste his entire summer vacation playing video games, but his father (Steve Zahn) protests and insists that he spend his time outside.  But the only motivation for Greg to leave the house is his crush, Holly Hills (Peyton List).  When his charming best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) invites him to join an upscale country club, things inevitably get better and worse for the perpetual wimpy kid.  Now Greg has to deal with lying to his father about having a job and helping his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) land a gig for his band, while trying desperately to get the girl.

The pace of the film often feels episodic, but this actually helps it play out in a way that will keep the target audience of kids from getting bored.  Many of the comedic set pieces are surprisingly amusing and there are even some nice quieter moments between Greg and his father, with a sweet message tucked underneath all of the shenanigans.  Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron continue to prove themselves as good leads who have no trouble carrying a movie, sidestepping the pitfalls of lesser child actors.  Devon Bostick clearly has a lot of fun with his scene stealing role, especially during an amusing musical performance late in the movie.

This is a film that is guaranteed to go over very well with its target audience.  With its share of amusing moments and a nice message, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a light summer diversion that will be especially enjoyed by kids, while offering just enough to also entertain adults in the audience.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

In a series that gets better with each installment (the first one kind of annoyed me), Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is actually pretty entertaining for what it is.  The 8-12 crowd is going to love it and it is harmless summer fun for them.

In this one, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is thirteen, and is trying to figure out how to have the summer he wants – which includes video gaming, and getting Holly (Patten List) to pay more attention to him.  Unfortunately for him, his parents want him to spend the summer outside being active, and nothing is going as planned.  Between a country club, camp and his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) interfering with his plans, Greg’s summer becomes less of what he planned – but maybe not entirely a bad one.

Overall, while most adults aren’t going to be seeking this one out on their own, those with kids in the middle-school age range won’t mind sitting through it, and it is definitely going to be one that age-range is going to want to see.  It has its funny moments, and is a decent effort in a franchise that has found a way to work.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Picking up where Rodrick Rules left off, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days follows Greg (Zachary Gordon) as he tries to have a great summer.  While his idea of a great time is to play video games, his father (Steve Zahn) has other plans.  Much to Greg’s dismay, his dad unplugs the TV, which causes a rift between them.  Things get better when Rowley (Robert Capron) invites him to the country club.  Greg is quite motivated to stay when he discovers that his crush, Holly (Peyton List) is working there.

Rowley also likes Holly and, incidentally, Greg’s brother Rodrick (Toronto’s Devon Bostick) has a crush on her sister Heather (Melissa Roxburgh).  Of course, Rodrick now wants to go to the country club, so Greg sneaks him along.  Meanwhile, his constant lying about his whereabouts puts him at further odds with his dad, who goes with him to a scouting group as competition with the pretentious neighbours.  There Greg must prove himself if he is to stay out of a strict prep school.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is fun.  The three main actors, Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron and Devon Bostick are funny as ever.  Dog Days retains the charm of Rodrick Rules by creating characters that reflect early to mid adolescence in a realistic and innocent way, avoiding any really dumb humour.  Nowhere are there nauseating gags, nor does the film get obnoxious for grown ups.  Much of the humour is genuinely funny.  And the titular dog Sweety plays an adorable throwback to the Bumpass Hounds in A Christmas Story, with a slightly gross and very funny scene.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a charming and funny movie that all ages can enjoy together.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Summer vacation.  That time of year that most kids daydream about and make all kinds of plans to make the most of those precious days.  In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, thirteen year old Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has one main goal – to play as many video games as possible.  Too bad his dad (Steve Zahn) thinks summer means fresh air and family time.  Forced to get out of the house everyday, Greg hangs out with his best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) who spends most days at the Plainview Terrace Country Club.  Luckily cute classmate Holly (Peyton List) helps out with tennis lessons at the club.  When Greg fakes a summer job at the club to impress his dad, older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) finds out and wants in on the country club action.

Like most summer vacations, Dog Days is lightweight and innocent fun.  Yes there are the predictable mishaps such as a swimtrunk malfunction at the pool, but there are also the upsides of summer vacation, like friends hanging out together and a chance for a boy and his dad to get to know one another better.  The situations in Dog Days may get a little silly at times, but for the kids watching this movie, it’s all in good fun.

The two young actors, Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron who play the young leads have grown nicely in their roles as now thirteen-year-old “wimpy kids.”  However it’s older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) who steals every scene he’s in.  Rodrick’s band, Loded Diper’s cover of Justin Bieber’s big hit “Baby” is the amusing highlight of the movie.  Let’s hope that if the franchise continues for a fourth instalment Rodrick continues to play a prominent role.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a nice change for families with school age kids.  Without any objectionable content to worry about this is straight forward light summer entertainment, perfect for those hot, sticky dog days when an air conditioned theatre and buckets of popcorn and pop make sense.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Review by Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the third film based on the popular series of books. Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is back with his parents Frank and Susan (Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris), older and younger brothers Rodrick and Manny (Devon Bostick and Fielding twins) and chubby best friend Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron). Greg has ambitious video game plans for the summer vacation following seventh grade but his dad wants him to stay outside. Awkward situations involving the municipal swimming pool, country club, local scout troop and a new family dog provide lots of laughs for the fans, as Greg pursues the classmate Holly Hills (Peyton List) he has a crush on.

I hated the first Wimpy Kid film which was insultingly bad for audiences of any age. The second film and this one, both directed by David Bowers, are much more watchable, particularly for kids of middle school age or less. There is really nothing new for the rest of us having lived through generations of family sitcoms, but with a decent cast and episodic script, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days will be a lot of fun for summer viewing now and the later home video market.


Consensus: With good performances from the young leads as well as amusing comedic set pieces and a nice message, the threequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days improves the series and provides fun summer entertainment for those of all ages.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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