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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules


Stars: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Peyton List, Laine MacNeil

Director: David Bowers

Titular sub-teen Greg Heffler (Gordon) has mellowed since the first film; he's a much less obnoxious kid here and that benefits this sequel enormously. It means that the snidy side of things can be safely handed over to Greg's older brother Rodrick (Bostick), a 16-year-old who has two aims: win a talent show with his rock band, and make Greg's life hell.

Meanwhile Greg, as is the way of such middle-school movies, is smitten with the new girl in class (List) and desperate to impress her.

Chubby, ever-beaming Capron is back as Greg's chum Rowley, and some of the funniest stuff comes with the magic act the pair performs for the school concert at the end of the film. And there's some giggles to be had too, when the pair watches a forbidden horror movie: The Foot is an amusing pastiche of the real thing.

The Tina Fey-like Harris has more fun this time round, too, as Greg's faintly ditzy mom, but Zahn again enjoys too few chances as dad. Kids will find the movie modestly tedious in the first half, but warm to its cool dose of junior-league comedy as the story goes on.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 21 May 2011