February 26, 2018

Movie Review: ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules’

Rodrick Rules

Image from Powells

It’s a new school year for wimpy kid, Greg Heffley, in Rodrick Rules, yet he’s no longer low man on the junior high totem pole.  In this refreshing sequel Greg must navigate the dynamics of his family this time, namely his teenage brother, Rodrick, when their mom challenges them to work out their intense sibling rivalry. The double entendre of the title sets up the rules Greg must adhere to if he wants to get along in Rodrick’s world, yet it’s also a hint that Rodrick is a pretty cool brother after all.


I put off seeing this movie when it came out during spring break, saving it for a renter, because the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid flick was so sad to me.  Greg had nowhere to turn in that tale of middle school isolation and ridicule, with his older brother being as much the problem as the most painful hurdles at school.  This time, just seeing the brother’s name in the title I thought it would be more of the same, but I was pleasantly surprised.

We get to see a more human side of Rodrick.


There are still plenty of embarrassing moments for Greg and plenty of human waste humor (think fake vomit), but it was done in a way kids will love and parents will probably appreciate too.


When Rodrick decides to throw a high school party when he and Greg are left home for the night, I was worried about my kids getting too much information.  Again, this movie doesn’t disappoint- even with a high school party in the plot, it is geared right towards the kids who read the Jeff Kinney books- 8 to 12 year olds.


The kids had an innocent, G-rated Animal House of a time, and my kids weren’t tainted in any way.  There was plenty of 2-liter bottles of soda, lots of silly picture stills and Greg’s best friend, Rowley, started a Congo line that impresses everyone. Ultimately the brothers begin to bond through the shared experience.


I recommend this movie to any readers of the series, and their younger siblings too.


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