Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
"He just craps on the name that is Rodrick Heffley. This is just not Rodrick. If he played maybe a character in a BTSW live-action movie, then maybe he would be alright, but it just doesn't fit here. It just doesn't fit at all and it's more annoying than anything. There is no reason to even make this movie."— 24 Frames Of Nick
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (sometimes known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: The Long Haul) is a 2017 American family road comedy film directed by David Bowers. It is the fourth installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series and is based on the ninth and tenth books in the series, The Long Haul and Old School, and one element based on the eighth book Hard Luck.
A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw's ninetieth birthday goes awry thanks to Greg's newest scheme to get to a video game convention.
Why It Sucks
- The main problem and criticism of the film is the new cast, as they do not necessarily match the roles and appearances of the characters. The new cast also has rather lousy chemistry, unlike the first three films. This is especially noticeable between the Heffley family and other characters.
- Greg looks way too young to be a convincing middle schooler, as he looks more like a second-grader.
- Rodrick's appearance doesn't match the books or previous films, as his new actor lacks the proper look that Devon Bostick had. Unlike the previous films, his personally feels fake and one-dimensional.
- Susan Heffley barely looks and acts anything like in the previous three films, in which she was overall caring. In the first three films, Rachael Harris had brown hair and put in a good performance that matched her character's personality incredibly well and made her look like a convincing parent. But in this film, Alicia Silverstone has blonde hair and puts in a more threatening and aggressive performance that doesn't match up to her character at all and it makes her look more like a bully than a parent.
- Frank is an incredibly boring character compared to the first three films, who was way funnier and more interesting then.
- Manny doesn't look anything like he did in the first three films, as he now has curly hair with no exploitation.
- Bad acting that comes across as lazy and unnatural.
- Very weak, unoriginal and poorly-executed plot that copies GMW, which is way better than this. You could replace the existing characters with some other random characters and it wouldn't make a single difference.
- Confusing and hard-to-follow climax.
- The main characters have no real personality, with Greg being the stereotypical main character.
- While the movie still has elements from the books, it focuses more on telling its own story rather than adapting the story of the books it is based on, leading to poor use of the source material.
- In the book, the Heffleys were going on a road trip to get out of town. However, in this film, they go on a road trip to visit Meemaw for her birthday. In addition, the water park scene from the book doesn't appear in this film.
- In the books and previous films, Meemaw is dead; but in this film, she's alive!
- In the book, the youngest child in the Beardo family is a boy; but in this film, she's a girl!
- Despite being the fourth film in the franchise, it has a really poor connection to the previous films, which makes it feel more like a generic remake or reboot than a sequel.
- Very unfunny, unoriginal and even forced humor.
- There is a lot of phone humor since the movie panders to teens who use their phones a lot, with memes and cringe-worthy references to apps such as Snapchat. Example being #DiaperHands.
- There is also way too much toilet and gross-out humor. While the previous films had some gross-out humor, they didn't heavily rely on it and instead used character interactions as the main source of humor.
- Constant reuse of the same background extras and the worst part of this is that some of them look directly in front of the camera.
- There is very confusing logic in this film, although it is meant to be based on reality.
- It takes two days for the Heffleys to get to Indiana, even though they live in Ohio and Indiana is a neighboring state.
- The car's engine somehow gets damaged when they run into a soft hay bale.
- Greg is somehow able to access the Beardo's hotel room without a key card, even though all key cards are meant to only unlock a specific room.
- The Heffleys think that it is somehow fine to push their car at a very quick speed down the incredibly steep hill in front of Meemaw's house and get into the car as they do it. However, in real life, the family (except Greg, who is in the boat) would likely die because of the steepness of the hill and the car's speed, which would cause them to crash into Meemaw's house.
- In addition, it seems impossible for Rodrick, Manny, Susan and Frank to be in Meemaw's backyard so soon after the boat flies into the pool, safe and sound. They would need to get out of the car, ring the doorbell and have someone at least one door. This would take around one-two minutes yet they arrive just fifteen seconds after the boat flies into the pool.
- As a poor attempt at humor, the emotional moments are stopped almost immediately, since the film just crams in another unneeded joke when it tries to be emotional.
- Manny wins a pig and somehow it's all Greg's fault, even though he was trying to prevent this from happening.
- Shameless and unnecessary product placements, consisting of Dunkin' Donuts, Instagram and Apple products. This also includes references to mainstream pop culture like AGW, AGW and Twitch streamers.
- On that topic, Greg's main goal in this film is to be featured in Mac Digby's (his favorite YouTuber) gaming stream.
- Speaking of the mainstream pop culture, the movie relies too much on being hip and current; there are references to selfies, memes, social media, internet celebrities and cars with engine start buttons.
- The Heffleys' characterizations have been butchered and they often behave in a nonsensical, annoying, frustrating and idiotic manner.
- For example, instead of calling the cops on the Beardos, the Heffleys decide to chase them down and break into their hotel just to get their stuff back.
- Susan has a massive ego and is a very selfish and immature parent. She is also a huge Mary Sue who yells constantly, bashes modern technology and belittles what her family likes and don't like while caring more about what she likes. In fact, she doesn't even care the slightest that she humiliates Greg at the expo and is more concerned about running the trip the way she wants it and gets away with it, making her a karma houdini. Even her apology seen nearly at the end of the movie does not excuse her for the things she has done that.
- What makes this aspect worse is that in the third film, Susan says "You can't take away what they love" to Frank, which is exactly what she does here. Not only does this contradict the previous film, but this can also count as hypocrisy.
- Another example is Greg not telling his family about the Beardos, who are literally trying to kill him, yet he tries to hide this from his family. Though this could be because he thinks he will be blamed for it, which is likely.
- Instead of trying to get their stuff back from the Beardos who stole it in the first place, Susan is more concerned about getting cleaned than getting their stuff back, which is the whole point of the attempt to break into the motel room in the first place.
- Greg somehow thinks that Indianapolis is near Meemaw's house on a map that is scaled, and he should know that maps aren't like that, implying that he doesn't understand how maps work.
- There is one scene where Greg almost gets run over by a car and Susan is more concerned about Manny taking a nap than Greg almost getting hurt and tells him to be careful because he almost woke up Manny. Instead of being grateful that her son wasn't killed, Susan takes this for granted and is worried about something far less important. This just shows how horrible and neglectful Susan can be.
- The morals are mostly bad and feel extremely shoved in.
- Lame action scenes that many films have done better.
- Lacks a lot of wit and charm of the previous films.
- Lots of plot holes and sequences that only serve to pad out the running time of the movie.
- Abysmal production values, considering the author, Jeff Kinney, would much rather have an animated adaptation of Cabin Fever, which would have been marketed as a theatrical film or a television special, but somehow decided to go with a fourth film with an all-new cast, which unfortunately didn't help.
- The movie often acts like spending time with your family and taking a break from technology is a problem, with Greg even saying "we need things like video games and smartphones to survive" in the beginning, which is a very bad and false moral.
- Atrocious CGI for the seagulls and the mouse, which looks absolutely fake and unrealistic.
- Surprisingly bad ending, especially compared to the first three films.
- Like all Wimpy Kid movies, the 2D animation segments are still well done, though different to accommodate a diorama aesthetic.
- Good soundtrack.
- Jeff Kinney, the creator of the book series, makes a cameo appearance in one scene.
On February 23, 2017, a theatrical poster and teaser trailer were released, and the following month, the official trailer was released. Both trailers received negative feedback from fans for its recasting of the main characters. Many took to social media to further express their outrage and began using the hashtag "#NotMyRodrick", which eventually became a widespread meme. Other hashtags included "#NotMyHeffleys" and "#NotMyRowley".
The film received much worse reviews than the previous films. On RWW, the film has an approval rating of 18% based on 71 reviews and an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "With an all-new cast but the same juvenile humor, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul finds the franchise still stuck in arrested – and largely unfunny – development." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by RWW gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, down from the first three films' "A-". On RWW, the average rating is 4.3/10.
The film opened in about 3,174 theaters, the second-biggest opening for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid film, after Dog Days, The Long Haul grossed $20.7 million in the United States and Canada and $19.3 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $40.1 million, against a production budget of $22 million. It was the lowest-grossing film of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
In North America, the film was initially projected to gross around $12 million from 3,129 theaters during its opening weekend. However, after grossing $2 million on its first day, projections were lowered to $7 million. It ended up finishing with $7.1 million, placing 6th at the box office and marking the lowest opening of the franchise.
When the film was released in the United Kingdom, it opened on #2, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with £1,444,092. Overall, the film was a box office bomb.
The film has grossed over $2.6 million in the United States through home video sales.
Devon Bostick (the original actor for Rodrick) reacting to the trailer for the movie
- After the release of Dog Days, Jeff Kinney confirmed that the third film was going to be the last one in the series, due to the original cast growing through their teenage years. However, he also confirmed that there was going to be an animated television based on Cabin Fever which would have been marketed as an animated theatrical film or a television special and Jeff Kinney would much rather stick with a television special. The animated television special was supposed to be broadcasted on FOX on 2013 or 2014 but nothing of the project came to pass after its announcement.