PG-13 (rude humor); 94 min.
Zachary Gordon, the fresh-faced lad who landed the coveted lead role in the adaptations of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movies, has had a growth spurt. His Greg Heffley is taller than his portly pal, Rowley (Robert Capron) -- almost tall enough not to have to take any more guff from his bullying older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick).
Greg's voice has changed. But in the summer before he goes into eighth grade, he's still inept around girls, still lying to his parents, still self-absorbed and rude to others. The lying is what he does to "make a connection" to the pretty blonde, Holly Hills (Peyton List). What's new here is Greg's disconnect from his long-suffering dad, played with commitment and comic skill by Steve Zahn.
Dog Days isn't the best of the "Wimpy" films, but Bostick is still a laugh a minute as Rodrick, and for an hour the laughs come quick and sure -- slapstick stuff, mostly. And for parents and their tweens, that's enough to keep this, the kid-friendliest film franchise of them all, from being a disappointment.
-- Roger Moore,
McClatchy Tribune News Service