I was a fan of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series because of its charming brand of sarcastic potty humor and its ability to ground its surreal premise in the modern world. However, I thought that this film looked horrible. I wasn't going to see it, but I have a MoviePass, and seeing it got me a free pass to see something else again.
Ultimately, this film functions as a kiddy version of "Vacation". It follows the same beats as every other road trip movie, so it ends up feeling mundane and clichéd. There are three or four genuinely funny parts, and a handful of spots in which I cracked a smile, but as a whole, it's just a watchable shadow of films of the genre that have come before. It's consistently over-the-top and filled with potty humor (without any of the sarcasm that I loved from previous films).
The execution of the film is definitely flawed. One of the best parts of how they translated the books into the original films was the blend of animation and live-action. That is used in a few parts in this entry, but it is definitely much more awkward-looking. In fact, I almost think that the film may have been more effective if it were completely animated. I understand that the original cast has aged out of their roles, but instead of recasting them in a glaringly obvious live-action continuation/reboot that ignores previous films while still continuing the characters' storylines, they should have made a fully animated reboot that restarted the story while incorporating elements of the newer book. The only performance that I really liked of the new cast was that of Tom Everett Scott.
As a whole, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" is amusing enough, and it provided an hour-and-a-half-long distraction from the world, but it isn't a very good film. Members of the target audience will likely find its humor to be funnier than I did, but I think that this series needs to come to an end.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Big Tuna's Rating: C-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: I doubt it.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.