Wildly unnecessary and unfunny extra chapter in an already lowly franchise.
The best way I can describe this film’s intense ineptitude is that the film hands the family a pig at a state fair just so it can literally crap its way through its scenes, and then forces them to give it up just a handful of gags later. That pig is the Keyser Soze of shit jokes, and the greatest trick he ever pulled was pooping on the audience’s dreams.
Just as insufferable as the preceding films in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a low point in a series hellbent on setting family entertainment back by 25 years. In the days of tremendous Pixar, Disney, and sometimes DreamWorks films, The Long Haul relies on juvenile potty humor, outdated pop culture references (the kids are really gonna enjoy that Spice Girls sing-a-long), and a National Lampoon’s Vacation for toddlers hook that’s borderline insulting. These films take the laziest routes possible, 90 minute exercises in dull humiliation for thoroughly unlikeable characters. The titular “Wimpy Kid”, whose real name is Greg Heffley, is such a selfish, shallow millennial that it has become really hard to root for him when bad things start happening to him. For the record, it doesn’t matter whose playing him because the character is written as such a little twit, but I do prefer Zachary Gordon to newcomer Jason Drucker.
With a brand new cast to embarrass themselves (hi Alicia Silverstone, this one’s not Batman and Robin, but it’s close), nothing has changed. Once this series felt like 2 hours within 90 minutes. Now it feels like 3.5, as just as the original cast started to get some semblance of coherence with series high Dog Days in 2012, they all hit puberty or got better agents. Series regular Rawley only appears at the beginning, nor do any of the other kids besides the Heffleys, making this feel even more like a cheap knockoff of what already was a poorly received series. Couldn’t we have skipped the road trip movie and stayed in school? I honestly can’t believe I’m saying that.