Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Directed by: David Bowers
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Rating: PG
Release Date: August 3, 2012

PLOT: School is out and Greg (Gordon) and wants to play video games all summer. When his dad (Zahn) wants him to get motivated, Greg creates a series of lies.

WHO’S IT FOR? Do you have a kid who has trouble listening? Are you a lazy parent looking for any sort of entertainment to do the parenting for you? You’ve found your trilogy!


For as long as I can remember (the last three years), I’ve had one night ruined because of these Wimpy movies. The main problem with the films is that it has nothing to do with looking or feeling wimpy. Gordon once again plays Greg Heffley as an arrogant, selfish, lying, bratty kid. What’s surprising is, this time I didn’t want to stab myself in the eyes with my pen. That’s right, the third film in this “trilogy” is the best. It’s almost nearly watchable. By the time they make the 12th film in this series, it will finally fall into the category of “good.”

This film has a little bit more of a message than the others. Own your mistakes, and learn from your mistakes.

One reason why Dog Days is better is because it’s less ambitious, and overall pretty lazy. The jokes are telegraphed, ordinary and somewhat innocent.

Greg is now in 8th grade. He wants to spend the summer playing video games. His dad, Frank, wants him to act like the neighbor kids who play outside. The problem is Frank doesn’t really want to have to talk to his son in order to achieve this. One of the ignorant missteps the movie makes is that Greg’s mom Susan (Harris) knows that he’s just sitting around playing video games. This doesn’t stop Greg from going to great lengths to fool his dad, even though Mom could easily spill the beans. Eventually Greg needs to get out of the house and tags along with Rowley (Capron) to the country club. The film drools over the elite lifestyle of those lucky enough to gain access to country clubs. Be ready for your kid to want unlimited smoothies and avoid the public pool. Greg has a crush on a girl and lies to her in an attempt to win her heart. There are more lies when Frank and Greg join a Boy Scout-like group. Bostick is back as Greg’s older brother Rodrick. He’s also hoping to woo a girl. There are many failed jokes, and failed messages in the film. Even Zahn getting more screen time than the other films doesn’t help.

Here’s a joke … Frank and Greg go fishing. Greg opens the can of worms, is shocked to find worms, and throws them all overboard.

Here’s another … Susan wants a group of 8th grade boys to read “Little Women.” There’s no effort or any sort of set-up, like perhaps she longs for a girl (instead of three boys), and is misguided in her attempt. Nothing.

One more joke … Greg’s swimsuit falls off. He’s stuck in the pool. Finally, he asks an employee, who is holding two towels, if he could pass Greg the small, pink, girl’s swimsuit bottom. There is no mention that Greg could have just asked for the towels.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is lazy, but I didn’t hate it. I even chuckled three times. That’s a big leap for me, considering how much venom I had with the first two installments (here’s my Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules review). Luckily, it’s still lazy enough, with a pretty weak message to make Diary of a Wimpy Kid my least favorite trilogy of all time.



  1. Jen Thomas says:

    My family saw the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dog Days and loved it!

    I can’t decide whether this reviewer, Jeff Bayer is dumb or just plain stupid. He has no idea whatsoever what this story is about and he says he’s had one night ruined each summer for the last 3 years by these movies. Well, this is the only movie that came out in the summer, the others came out in March. And I am sure with his personality, he has had alot more ruined nights in his life by his own deeds. So I don’t know what drugs this guy is on. There is no way this guy could have children and BS about the movie this way.

    Relating to the jokes in the movie, Bayer obviously doesn’t understand kids growing up. He must have been born and then jumped right to adulthood. The story and plotlines are just like experiences of all kids growing up. They are all relatable to anyone who has survived middle school and family and relationship dynamics. The movie isn’t a Sci Fi or Computer Animated 3D joke, it is wholesome, relatable, fun movie entertainment. This movie isn’t about “deep meaning” or “Gone with the Wind”. It is a movie that entertains on many levels.

    Also, he says the movie has nothing to do with wimpy which clearly shows he has no idea what this story is about, nor has ne read or understand the books. I don’t know what this guy is doing reviewing movies as he has no concept of these stories whatsoever, he trashes them for the sake of trashing them without any understanding of the story or it’s concepts. The concept of “wimpy kid” doesn’t last a lifetime. All kids get older, get bigger, and grow up. The first movie started in the 6th grade and this movie is now in the 8th grade, what does this dufus expect after 3 years, everyone stays the same? That would be nice in life I guess, but not reality. The main character is not about being a wimp, but about surviving and struggling with life and relationships. He writes in a book called a journel, “not a Diary”. If this reviewer understood these simple story concepts that the movies are based on, he may have really gotten the movie, but clearly he has no idea what this story is about. And by the way, any kid I ever went fishing with and saw live worms squirming about – “freaked out”. On at least 3 occasions when my husband took our boys fishing, they dropped the worms just like in the movie…it was funny!!!! Sorry Jeff that you missed out on that part of growing up!

    It is always amazing to me to see how much effort an idiot like this puts into trashing a family movie so lengthy, when all he had to do was say he didn’t like it and move on. Instead, he goes into making up a bunch of mis-concepts, misunderstanding, telling others how unfunny it is, and adding a whole bunch of seemingly clever rhetoric that has nothing to do with the movie or a review about it. Why this guy is reviewing a movie that he can’t even relate to and is beyond his intellegence level is a mystery to me. He can’t find anything good about this movie and has nothing nice to say about the movie, but it obviously evoked alot of emotions in him to spend the time to write such lengthy trash. Jeff, I think you should, instead, go out a watch some fantasy movie or adult movie – I think that would be more your cup of tea! Then you can review the reality of those films.

    Don’t listen to anything this guy wrote….the movie is fun, it good solid and wholesome film entertainment for anyone of any age. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. “He asks an employee, who is holding two towels, if he could pass Greg the small, pink, girl’s swimsuit bottom. There is no mention that Greg could have just asked for the towels.”
    I saw the movie when I was 12 and I STILL noticed that! HUGE scripting fail.

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