Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days brings summer and the franchise to an end. As I said in my Rodrick Rules review, there was no way Fox was gonna adapt every book in the ongoing series. There were already 6 books and no sign of Jeff Kinney slowing down. Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, and other young actors stuck with the movies for 3 years, but it was clear they outgrew their roles. Despite the title, Dog Days is actually a combination of the third book The Last Straw and the titular fourth book. My brother made the mistake of only getting Dog Days to read. So I read The Last Straw after the fact.
Just like the rest of the movies, you wouldn’t believe how much material was spread out in each installment. Since The Last Straw and Dog Days focus on Greg Heffley’s father, most of the attention is given to him. Rachel Harris takes a backseat to Steve Zahn’s excitable wide-eyed antics. As Greg tries to enjoy the dog days of summer, he continues to pine for Holly Hills. Peyton List is given way more attention than her character ever got in the books. Fregley, Chirag, and Patty were always given more attention.
Holly actually likes Greg and they have a cute little romance. Her bratty older sister Heather is the object of Rodrick’s affection instead of Greg. The film keeps an awkward trip to the public pool, Manny’s “Tingy” blanket, summer reading, going to the boardwalk with Rowley’s close family, spending time at a country club, boy scouts, Greg’s dad considering military school, Li’l Cutie, and getting a troublemaking dog named Sweetie. It’s a lot of material, but animation fills in the gaps as usual. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is enough to keep fans satisfied.
Preceded by: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules