DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS (David Bowers). 94 minutes. Opens Friday (August 3). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Despite the aging cast, the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movies just don't get old.
The latest instalment, Dog Days, is consistent with the series formula, targeting the under PG-13 crowd with silly kiddie humour but also mature lessons about growing up.
These movies relate to their audience without ever talking down. Even parents can learn a few things in this respect.
The latest travails of Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon, hit hard by puberty since we last saw him) involve a summer avoiding responsibilities. He wants to play video games all day while his dad (Steve Zahn, finally getting to shine) wants him to play sports, join a wilderness club, get a job or just do something.
This eventually leads to Greg faking employment at a country club where he gets to steal some cozy (and awkward) time with that cute blond from school (Peyton List).
The plot may often seem tangential, with asides that don't fit the overall story, but it's these small moments that actually remind you of what it's like to be a kid, wimpy or not.