Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (sometimes known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules) is a 2011 American comedy film based on Jeff Kinney's book of the same name with a couple elements from The Last Straw. The film stars Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick. Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, and Peyton List also have prominent roles.
Back in middle school after summer vacation, Greg Heffley and his older brother Rodrick must deal with their parents' misguided attempts to have them bond.
Why It Rocks
- Much like the first film, the loyalty to the source material is amazing and captures the tone of the book very well while altering the characters to make them seem more human unlike how they're portrayed in Greg's journals in the books.
- The humor, similar to the first movie, relies on character interactions rather than cheap toilet humor and it works.
- There are some new and very interesting characters, such as Greg‘s new love interest, Holly Hills.
- Unlike in the books, Greg and Rodrick actually develop chemistry.
- While Rodrick may be a jerk, his character portrayal in this film along with Dog Days leans more towards him acting like a cool older brother to Greg to the point where he doesn't even bully him anymore.
- One of the very few times where Susan Heffley brings up a very good point about how siblings should be there for one another.
- The characters are still relatable and likable, mainly Greg.
- The cartoon aspect from the book is still spot-on and well-animated.
- Many unforgettable and hilarious moments, such as the scene where Greg and Rodrick get chased down by Coach Malone or the scene where Susan’s dancing distracts the audience of the talent show, as well as Fregley’s ventriloquist act in the same scene.
- The friendship between Greg and Rowley is still unforgettable.
- A nice running gag of Greg pretending Chirag is invisible.
- It is arguably one of those rare sequels that improves on the original.
- Rodrick can be unlikable in some moments, like the scene where he forces Greg to run around the retirement home in his underwear after he read his diary.
- Manny is still a bratty, one-dimensional character who gets away with his wrongdoings because ”He’s only three”, which is a poor lesson to teach younger viewers. Granted, he does makes a spiked aluminum ball for Greg and apologizes to him for breaking his console, but still.
- It's really unfair that Susan and Frank force Rodrick and Greg to stay at the house punished for a night after causing such a mess in the church when it should have been only Rodrick the one punished here, as Greg was totally justified in beating Rodrick up as he was furious at Rodrick for humiliating him in front of the whole town.
The film made $7.3 million on its opening day, ranking #2 behind Sucker Punch. The film managed to rank #1 in the weekend box office. In the UK, the film debuted at #3 in the weekend box office behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Hangover Part II. The film eventually grossed $52,698,535 in the US/Canada and $19,718,859 in other countries for a worldwide total of $72,417,394.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 98 reviews and an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Moderately witty and acceptably acted, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 isn't much worse than the first installment." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 51 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review saying, "Director David Bowers keeps things peppy and brightly lighted, but the movie's swiftest pleasures come from moment-seizing cast members." Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a positive review saying, "A little less wimpy, gives value lessons to the watchers from the cast, and still pretty funny" and a B rating. Pete Hammond of Boxoffice magazine gave it a mixed review stating "Even better than the first edition, in its own sitcom-ish ways." However, Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave it a negative review (38 on Metacritic), stating "You can't fault the filmmakers for reshaping a diary into a cohesive film. You can however, fault them for taking one of the great antiheroes in preteen literature and turning him into, well, an even wimpier kid."