January 1, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days'

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

With three movies in as many years, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise shows no sign of slowing down. The movies are based on the books by Jeff Kinney and, whilst I have not read any of them, I know that there are seven in the series so far, so I am guessing that there will be more films further down the line. The main reason for this is that kids seem to love them! My eldest son, who is 7, is a big fan of them, and these films are among a short list that he will sit though; which is saying quite a bit, seeing that he has the attention span of a Goldfish. I jest not. The Wimpy Kid movies just strike a nerve with him, and I can see why. Whilst aimed squarely at the kids, these can quite easily be enjoyed by adults as well.

The end of the school year is upon us and the summer vacations are all set to go. In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Greg Heffley has a mission, and it’s not an easy one. First off, he wants to get together with Holly, the girl of his pre-pubescent dreams, avoid being sent to military school by staying out of trouble and landing himself a job, which affords him the chance to spend more time with Holly.

Well, I say get a job but in actual fact he pretends to have a job at the local country club, of which he visits courtesy of Rowley, whose parents are members. So begins a tale of various mishaps, often of the very funny variety, the bonds of friendship and taking advantage of these friendships, more to Greg’s shame, and not forgetting Greg’s two brothers; Rodrick, who is the oldest, and Manny, the youngest. Both brothers cause as much trouble for Greg as humanly possible; no one ever said having siblings was easy.

Although it is not essential for you to have seen the previous two movies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, as you will soon get wrapped up in the simple story, they do obviously flesh out more of the backstory between all of the characters. To tell the truth the first two movies have blurred into one for me, having walked in on both over the past few months, but they are entertaining. Dog Days continues this and is a very funny film in places, with plenty of scenes that had me cringing in embarrassment for Greg and his misfortune.

These are most definitely kid’s films, but they are the sort of film that you can sit with your kids and enjoy as well. Dog Days is fun; plain and simple, and I had a blast watching it with my kids. I know for a fact that this film will be getting its fair share of plays at home. If one thing is for sure it is this, when kids like a movie they will play that damned thing to death. You’ll find yourself reciting dialogue in no time at all. It can’t be helped, it’s unavoidable, and so you just have to accept it.

Along with the movie, which is given fine treatment on Blu-ray, there’s also the pre-requisite Digital Copy, the DVD and UltraViolet version, which is already linked up on my lad’s tablet. Also, among the special features included on this release is an all new animated story, entitled Class Clown, a gag reel, deleted scenes and an audio commentary from director David Bowers. I’m not sure who would watch it with the commentary, although I may at some point.

Regardless, this is a terrific release that will keep the kids busy for ages, as well as sucking the adults into its charm. Dogs Days is probably as predictable as you might think it would be, but then again this is not the sort of movie to watch if you are expecting thought-provoking drama; it’s light-hearted family entertainment, and should be enjoyed as such.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 20th Century Fox.

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