Greg (Zachary Gordon) and Rodrick Heffley (Devon Bostick), two brothers, are always at odds with each other and rarely ever get along. However, their parents are tired of their antics and constant fights, so they try their best to make them bond.
Recently, it was announced that the original Diary of a Wimpy Kid trilogy was added to the Disney+ streaming service. The series of films were initially distributed by 20th Century Fox, but last year, Disney bought out the former company, so now, Disney owns the rights to the Wimpy Kid films.
So, I decided that since these films are at my disposal so easy now, I would give the first three in the franchise a rewatch because I haven’t seen them in several years and I wanted to see how well they would hold up. Yesterday, I went ahead and rewatched the original film from 2010 and was delighted to see that it actually held up quite well, although it wasn’t as good as I remember it being back when I was ten years old.
Growing up, though, Rodrick Rules was always my favorite installment in the trilogy. I found that it had the most heart, warmth, and comedy of the three, and it is without a doubt one of my most rewatched movies of all-time. Back when the film was released on DVD nine whole years ago, I used to have sleepovers with my best friend all the time, and we would always put on movies to watch. Most of the time, we both decided to put on Rodrick Rules. It was a movie that both of us greatly enjoyed and simply couldn’t get enough of.
If I had to take an honest guess, I would say that I’ve seen this film about thirty times. That’s not an exaggeration. There’s just something so oddly endearing about this story of two brothers that don’t get along that have to try their hardest to work out their differences and get along, even just for a little bit. Back then, I didn’t fully recognize that aspect of the film, because all I wanted to see was a movie with lots of humor, which is exactly what I got. But rewatching it today, I saw how excellent and important the message of Rodrick Rules really is. I think that many kids will see the film and take something away from it.
The heart and soul of Rodrick Rules are easily Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick in the roles of Greg and Rodrick Heffley, respectively. I mentioned it in my review of the previous film, but I’ll say it again. These actors are genuinely perfectly cast in their roles. When The Long Haul was released, I just couldn’t buy Jason Drucker as Greg or Charlie Wright as Rodrick. Zachary Gordon will always be Greg to me and Devon Bostick will always be Rodrick to me.
Their chemistry here is off-the-charts. They feel like real-life brothers that get up to silly antics together and try to become closer to one another. If you watch behind-the-scenes videos of this series, you can see that Gordon and Bostick were incredibly close to one another. They were always pulling small pranks on each other during downtime on set, and in interviews, they have mentioned how much they appreciated their time working on these movies.
Aside from their amazing performances, the film is also just hilarious. Screenwriters Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs teamed up to write an authentic and incredibly humorous script that is full of life and witty comedy. I am twenty-years-old now, which is why I was so surprised by how hard I ended up laughing while watching Greg and Rodrick get into increasingly more awkward and humiliating situations. There were a couple of times where I had tears forming in my eyes from laughing so hard. It’s humor that both children and adults will deeply enjoy.
But as I mentioned earlier, one of the strongest aspects of Rodrick Rules is its message of how important it is to have a good relationship with your siblings. A lot of kids will watch this film and take something away from it. Rarely are movies like this full of so much heart and love, but Rodrick Rules definitely is. This is one of the best children’s films ever made.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is a non-stop laugh riot due to the wonderfully funny script and the performances of Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick.
Overall Grade: A-
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor and mischief
Directed by: David Bowers
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 25, 2011
Running Time: 100 minutes