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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

Young Greg Heffley doesn't necessarily see himself as a magnet for catastrophe. OK, sure, his life is chock-full of lemons without a drop of lemonade in sight, and he generally feels like an overripe zit on the verge of getting a big squeeze. But that's normal for a 12-year-old kid, right? Right?

OK, fine: He feels like a loser.

Take that day his family all piled into the van for a trip over to Corny's Family-Style restaurant. He didn't really even want to go. That dump always smells like dirty gym socks. His dirty gym socks. And there are usually so many screaming babies in the place that you can barely enjoy the soggy pizza and lukewarm soda. Ugh.

Then, of course, when his mom sends him searching for his baby brother, Manny, in the plastic ball pit, he reaches in … and comes up with a dirty diaper stuck to his hand. And I mean stuck. After freaking out and trying to shake the grody thing off, all he ends up doing is attracting a lot of attention.

And having his freak-out videoed by every parent with a smartphone in the whole joint.

And getting it posted to YouTube.

And having it go viral.

And gaining the unenviable online meme moniker "Diaper Hand."

On top of all that utter humiliation, Greg's completely oblivious parents announce that the whole family is going to pack into the family van again and take a four-day road trip to Granny Meemaw's 90th birthday celebration. Talk about the start of a memorable summer.

Greg, however, is no dummy. Loser, maybe; dummy, no. And something quickly comes to mind. It just so happens that his favorite YouTube gamer—the one and only Mac Digby—has announced that he'll be making a live appearance at the Player's Expo videogame convention in Indianapolis. And that's only about two inches away from Granny Meemaw's house if you look at it on a map.

If Greg can finagle his way into a Mac Digby video, not only will it eclipse all this Diaper Hand business, why, it'll redeem the whole summer. … No, it'll make his whole life!

All he has to do is figure out how to make that convention detour happen. Along with steering clear of anything filled with poo ever again.

Yeah, good luck with that happening.

Positive Elements

Although their road trip is rife with disaster and seems to be nothing short of torture, the Heffleys do share a few good bonding moments together. So much so that Greg eventually wonders where they might go on future trips.

Spiritual Content

Greg's older brother, Rodrick, looks skyward and offers up a quick "Thanks, God."

Sexual Content

The Heffleys all croon the Spice Girls song "Wannabe" together—including the lyric "If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give." Greg uses a picture of a bikini girl on his phone to grab brother Rodrick's attention. When the guys get to the video game convention, a number of young women are dressed in skin-exposing cosplay outfits.

Greg gets caught outside in just his underwear. While mischievously searching someone's hotel room, Rodrick discovers and examines a plus-sized bra.

Violent Content

Greg repeatedly takes a number of pratfalls while being chased by a large stranger he calls Beardo. The rest of the family take their share of thumps and splats, as well. During their travels, the Heffleys nearly miss crashing their speeding van on several occasions. Things blow up in and around their vehicle.

A boat the Heffleys are towing accidentally gets launched into the air … with Greg in it. A literal flock of seagulls swoop into the van's interior, ripping things up and pecking at the family members. All of the Heffleys' belongings spill out onto the highway, causing other drivers to swerve wildly and to slam on their brakes.

Crude or Profane Language

Dialogue includes an unfinished "Holy mother of … ," as well as the exclamation "What the heck?" and several cries of "Oh my gosh!"

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Other Negative Elements

Excrement and urinary jokes abound. And the actual physical forms of those substances are repeatedly expelled in human, bird and pig form. (Greg, for instance, is forced to pee into a bottle in front of his whole family; elsewhere Greg listens to a large man on a toilet as Greg hides in a shower next to him.) These scatological moments spill here and there but are kept just outside the camera's full view. That said, one slow-motion vomit scene hits viewers and onscreen characters alike square in the face. And during their road trip, the Heffleys stop at a motel that is covered in filth, bugs and hairy residue.

Greg and Rodrick lie, steal things and break into other people's hotel rooms. Even Greg's dad makes a deal to keep their mutual "male" lies a secret. "What your mom doesn't know won't hurt her," he bargains. Greg publically calls his parents, "A little slow." Rodrick picks his nose.

Conclusion

There was usually a comical, slapstick cuteness to the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. The kid-like "notebooks" full of scribbled misadventures and pencil-drawn stick figures had an undeniable charm. Unfortunately, all the stuff that passed for "cute" in the Wimpy franchise's books has been squeezed out of the film series—leaving little more than an unpalatable pile of poop jokes behind.

Sure, Mom and Dad could rationalize that their tykes might be amused by this pic's gross-out silliness. But trust me, the clownish antics on display here aren't admirable ones—especially when the onscreen adults lead the charge. And the obnoxious, deceptive kids are, well, obnoxious and deceptive.

I suppose The Long Haul could be worse. I mean, there are pre-tween pics out there that tread even messier ground. But, frankly, that sad observation shouldn't be construed as any kind of argument to sit through this scatological pic.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Jason Drucker as Greg; Charlie Wright as Rodrick; Wyatt Walters as Manny; Alicia Silverstone as Susan; Tom Everett Scott as Frank

Director

David Bowers ( )

Distributor

20th Century Fox

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

May 19, 2017

On Video

August 8, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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