"Family Bonds Overcome Selfishness"
In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL, the Heffley family head out on a two-day trip to Meemaw’s 90th birthday, but things veer way off course when Greg schemes to go to a video gaming convention instead. Based on the popular Wimpy Kid book, THE LONG HAUL is loaded with some scatological humor, and the comedy doesn’t always work, but it sticks to a moral, family-friendly framework where family bonds overcome selfishness.
The Heffley family faces a 47-hour road trip to get to their Meemaw’s 90th birthday. However, Greg wants to attend a video game convention at the same time, so he can get a chance to play with his favorite gamer. He and his older brother, Roderick, are reluctantly dragged along for the trip. Things get worse when their mom bans all tech devices for the duration of their journey.
However, Greg’s troubles are just beginning. At the hotel that night, he has a run-in with the dad of another family, Beardo, who thinks Greg purposely banged up his car. They become fast enemies as Greg constantly has to hide from Beardo when they keep running into each other on the road. Meanwhile, Roderick wants to get revenge on Greg for getting him into trouble.
After tricking their dad into driving toward a video game convention, things only get worse for Greg, Roderick and the Heffley family. Will a flock of birds, a pig and multiple car accidents prevent them from celebrating with Meemaw?
Based on the bestseller by Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL is loaded with the kind of humor that only children can appreciate. Some of it borders on grotesque. The parents are just clueless and irresponsible enough to allow lots of comedic, compromising situations add to the jeopardy. That said, the humor sometimes fell flat. It wasn’t as funny as it tried to be, and the evidence of that were the very few laugh-out-loud moments children in the viewing audience had. Adults will find the movie corny and juvenile, but considering the popularity of the Wimpy Kid books, children might be more appreciative.
The movie’s main messages are learning the importance of family and learning how selfishness can hurt others. Eventually, the boys realize how much Meemaw really means to the family. So, in the end, family bonds overcome their selfishness, and there are consequences for wrongdoing.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL contains some light comical violence, but a lot of lying. Sometimes characters are caught lying, and some get away with it. However, the movie makes a point about lying being wrong. The father’s behavior is almost as bad as the children’s at times, leaving mom as the primary role model. He does end up correcting his behavior, but it’s disappointing that the only character displaying moral leadership is also the one with whom the rest of the family is openly annoyed, until they realize how much they’ve hurt her. The secondary storyline includes revenge and stealing, but the bad guys lose. Finally, there are several light profanities, and the brothers call each other names during the story.
(B, L, V, N, MM) Light moral worldview where family bonds overcome selfishness, and there are consequences for wrongdoing; no obscenities, but five light profanities using the name “God,” one scene depicts vomiting on a carnival ride, and multiple scatological scenes include a boy urinates into a bottle in the car, it’s implied a baby goes in a car with passing gas noises, a boy hides in the shower while a man sits on the toilet and noises are heard poops (fart noises and sounds of poop dropping into toilet), brothers call each other names several times (i.e., jerk, loser), bird droppings fall all over a family; a can of cinnamon roles explodes and a boy thinks he was shot in the head, a flock of birds get into a car while it’s on the road and cause the driver to crash into hay bales, a boat becomes unhooked from the back of a car while a boy is in it and flies down a hill into a swimming pool, a boy squirts shampoo into a man’s eyes, a cart is pushed toward a car and badly scrapes it, a car drives through a construction area and hits a bunch of barrels; no sexual content; several scenes show people in bathing suits, a boy is shown in his underwear; and, strong miscellaneous immorality include children lie to their parents in multiple scenes, a husband lies to his wife, a man lies to his boss, children disobey rules set by their parents, a father disobeys a family rule and makes a pact with his son to keep it a secret from his wife, brothers harass and try to get each other in trouble, children deceive their parents into going to the wrong travel destination, children are selfish and try to get out of a birthday party for their great grandmother, children hurt their mother by ruining a special family outing she had planned, a girl blames a boy for something she did wrong, a man steals the belongings of a family to get revenge for something which they didn’t do, brother tries to get revenge on his younger brother.
In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL, the Heffley family faces a 47-hour road trip to their Meemaw’s 90th birthday. There’s only one problem. Greg wants to attend a video game convention at the same time so he can play with his favorite gamer. Things get worse for Greg and his brother when their mom bans all tech devices for their trip. However, Greg’s troubles are just beginning. After tricking his parents into driving to the video game convention, things only get worse. Will a flock of birds, a pig and multiple car accidents stop the family from celebrating with Meemaw?
THE LONG HAUL is loaded with scatological humor. The parents are clueless enough to allow for plenty of comical, compromising situations that increase the jeopardy. That said, the humor sometimes fell flat. It wasn’t as funny as it tried to be. Although there’s only light comical violence, there’s a lot of lying. The overall messages are pro-family, however. For example, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL shows family bonds overcome selfishness, and there are consequences for wrongdoing.