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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Released 3 August 2012
Director David Bowers

Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Peyton List, Grayson Russell, Karan Brar

Gabe Sachs, Wallace Wolodarsky, Maya Forbes

Nina Jacobson, Bradford Simpson
Origin United States, Canada
Running Time 94 minutes
Genre Comedy, family
Rating G


We've seen it on countless occasions before. Producers and a cast trying to milk the most money they possibly can from an ailing franchise. It's hard to blame them really, especially if it continues to earn them a fat profit – perhaps not too ailing then! But what it ultimately results in is a clogged up weekly cinema listing of movies that should have been sent straight to the DVD releases. In fact, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is so bad that it should have been sent straight to the bin.

In the third instalment in the series originally adapted from Jeff Kinney's books, nerdy kid Greg is intent on enjoying the school summer holidays his own way – playing video games. With his dad on his case, though, Greg is forced to come up with some unique ways to get out of his father's overbearing influence. In an effort to dodge his attention, and the added advantage of getting to see more of his crush Holly, Greg pretends to take up a job at a local country club. But the hapless chancer just can't keep himself out of trouble.

Having not seen either of the first two outings for our wimpy kid, Dog Days has done absolutely nothing in encouraging me to check out his previous adventures – or, as the case probably was, embarrassing misadventures. Why is it even called Dog Days? Yes, they do get a dog but he has very little to do with the, ahem, tale. With cringe-worthy acting all round and a story that is straight off the Hollywood user manual there really is very little to enjoy, and I feel that younger audiences will see right through it as well.

The relationship between Greg and his dad, played by Steve Zahn, is one of frustration and a distinct lack of any male bonding. Of course, ultimately there comes the surprising revelation that they actually have more in common than they ever realised – cue trailer voiceover. To be fair, there are some chuckling moments, especially with Greg's zany metal brother Rodrick, but they are few and far between. It's harmless, but it's simply no good.

- David Caulfield