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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul | Families Magazine REVIEW!

Read our Diary of a Wimpy Kid Review! Considering whether to take the kids or not? Find out what to expect! (You’re in for a surprise!)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid REVIEW! Families Magazine has the first look!

Farts, poop and vomit…with a cameo appearance by “the cheese of cheese touch”… this movie literally has it all for 7-13 year olds. In the newest instalment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, long suffering Greg takes to the open road with his family (which now includes Alicia Silverstone as “mom”) to attend his MeeMa’s 90th birthday. Like the modern day Griswald family, everything that could go wrong, goes wrong with both funny and cringe-worthy results. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Long Haul was a massive hit with tweens in the cinema and unlike a lot of kiddy movies, provided plenty of laugh out loud moments for parents too.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Review: From a kid’s perspective!

Two kids, both boys, in the cinema laughing at full volume… literally a laugh a minute… When we left the cinema though, the stand out, favourite part of the movie was actually the one “touching scene” shared by toddler Manny and a rather sweet piglet. For all the gross bits, the YouTuber/gamer references, the evil bearded nemesis, the big brother hijinks, it was all about the sweet moments for our boys. Of course, the fairground vomit scene rated pretty highly too.

diary of a wimpy kid review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Review: From a mum’s perspective!

Personally, there were moments when I found myself wanting to yell “put your seatbelt on” and “What parent even does that?” but then, I am probably not the target demographic for this film. For the most part it’s a great kid film that parents will enjoy too. I did look away several times from disgusting, nausea inducing gags – the boys didn’t though – they embraced it. There are a couple of scenes where my 7 year old was frightened and a little distressed, including a G rated parody of the shower scene from Psycho. It might be a bit much for sensitive younger kids. Mr 10 loved every minute and never looked away.

For lovers of the Books..

The best part about this instalment in the series is little Manny who has some stand out moments in this particular film – now a toddler, he no longer just adds a single word – he is a little star of the show and steals some of the most important scenes.

Like all Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, there’s an underlying moral. This book explores family time vs device time with the whole family, including the dad jonesing for a digital hit while on a 40+ hour road trip. There are some definite, and probably dated clichés in this movie – especially the “All American” family where the mother tries desperately to keep them altogether in a digital world. The father’s dependence on his phone does however stop the polarising message that “kids are bad, adults are good”. It firmly takes the kids’ side – where parents are on their phones too much too. There’s potential here for the clever parent to link a love of this film and series to some great literacy building activities. 

For kids who love the books (as ours do) this is a great movie adaption. It’s rare that the movie series is better than the books but I think in this case, they’ve nailed it. Just be prepared to look away lest you leave the cinema feeling queasy!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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