Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (film)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (sometimes known as Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: The Long Haul) is a 2017 American road comedy film directed by David Bowers. It is the fourth and final installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series, and is based on the ninth and tenth books in the series, The Long Haul and Old School, and one element each based on the seventh and eighth books, The Third Wheel and Hard Luck.
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Bowers|
|Based on||Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul|
by Jeff Kinney
|Narrated by||Jason Drucker|
|Music by||Edward Shearmur|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Edited by||Troy Takaki|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$40.1 million|
It is both a sequel and a soft reboot because the cast members from the first three films do not reprise their roles, and were replaced by a new cast. It was theatrically released on May 19, 2017, by 20th Century Fox. The film received negative reviews and grossed $40 million worldwide on a $22 million production cost.
One year after the previous film, while at Corny's family restaurant, the Heffley family — consisting of Greg, his older brother Rodrick, his father Frank, his mother Susan, and his younger brother Manny — plans to take a road trip across the USA to attend Meemaw's 90th birthday. However, after Greg and Rowley rescue Manny, who got stuck inside a tube in the play area, Greg ends up in a ball pit with a diaper stuck on his hand, startling him. He subsequently becomes famous after the people around him record him and post the footage on the internet, leading Greg to be dubbed as "Diaper Hands", much to Greg's devastation.
Later, at the Heffley residence, Greg learns that Player Expo is taking place not very far from Meemaw's house in Indianapolis. Greg's gaming star, Mac Digby, will be attending, and Greg hopes to meet him and get in one of his videos so he will gain newfound popularity. He plans to sneak off from the road trip to attend the Expo without his parents' knowledge, however. The Heffley family hits the road in their Toyota Sienna minivan, where all their cell phones are immediately confiscated by Susan, who wants the road trip to be "absolutely technology-free", much to Greg and Rodrick's irritation.
After arriving at a filthy motel, Greg and Rodrick notice a family playing in the hot tub whom he nicknames the “Beardos” due to the father's big beard. He then discreetly gets into the Sienna to retrieve his phone and plans to use it. Later, when Greg and Rodrick are relaxing in the hot tub, Rodrick hears a notification from Greg's phone and discovers his plans to go to Player Expo. Greg discourages Rodrick from telling Susan, saying that they had a rock band video game tournament there that Rodrick could participate in. Liking the idea, Rodrick opts to go with Greg to the Expo.
Going to sleep, Greg is annoyed by a loud noise created by the Beardo siblings, who playfully crash a cleaning cart into a wall, and storms out of the room. He confronts them but Brandi, the oldest sibling, purposely rolls the cart into their car, leaving a huge scratch. Just as Mr. Beardo comes out of his motel room, Brandi angrily blames Greg responsible and Mr. Beardo goes after him but he evades him.
The next day, the Heffleys attend a country fair where Manny wins a pig. Mr. Beardo and his family notices Greg and chases after him but outruns yet again. Back on the road, the Heffleys, unable to take care of the pig, drop it off at the petting zoo, much to Manny's dismay, but not before Greg reroutes the GPS to the Player Expo convention. Checking at the hotel room, Greg and Rodrick sneak out to go to Player Expo with the excuse that they are getting Meemaw a present. Rodrick lost badly at rock band video game tournament due to being an untalented drummer. However, after Frank and Susan see their children on live TV, they go to get the boys themselves.
Upon Greg sees Mac Digby participating in a video game competition, Greg instructs Rodrick to record him going up on stage with Mac so his popularity will boost, but the attempt fails when Mac notices him and Greg steps back and accidentally unplugs the video game with his foot. Just then, Susan storms into the stage and embarrasses him, accidentally revealing that he is Diaper Hands to the public. Susan opens up to Greg and says that all she wanted was a nice road trip that would bring the family closer together, and she accuses Greg of not caring. Infuriated, Greg snaps back at Susan, saying that she doesn't care about what he loves, which is why he had to sneak out to the Expo in the first place. Hurt by her son's words, Susan hands her phone to Greg to play games and told him to enjoy himself because she doesn't care anymore.
The Heffleys get back on the road and after a while the tarp on the boat flies off and all their belongings fly out. After stopping on the side of the road to retrieve their stuff, the Beardos show up and steal some of their stuff including a suitcase that’s holding a memory book Susan made for Meemaw’s birthday. After trying to stop them from getting away, the Beardos manage to escape them causing Susan to cry. Susan saw her road trip plan was a failure. After Greg apologizes for his actions, the Heffleys then encounter many more obstacles on the road including their van full of seagulls flying everywhere, taking a different route, a cinnamon roll tube exploding, getting sprayed with mud, and encountering the Beardos once again. The Heffleys get their stuff back, only for Greg to be hiding in the shower while Mr. Beardo goes to the bathroom. Greg inadvertently turns on the shower and ends up trying not to get grabbed by Mr. Beardo but escapes, recreating the scene from the horror movie Psycho.
The Heffleys continue celebrating their victory on the road but break down after driving up a big hill. However Greg saw that Meemaw’s house is just at the bottom of the hill so Greg, Rodrick, and Frank push the van forward to make it go down. Greg, unable to make it in the van, hops in the boat. But the bumpy hill causes the boat to disconnect from the van and rolls down separately. The boat rolls right into a stack of hay, sending it flying right into Meemaw’s pool. The Heffleys then celebrate happily at Meemaw’s. On the way home, after breaking down in the road, a tow truck appears, Susan and Frank try to tell him to tow them. Then, Manny speaks perfect Spanish and after arriving in the petting zoo, Manny gets the pig back. At the end, Greg explains that although the road trip wasn't perfect, he still wouldn't change a thing. He says that Manny was allowed to keep his pig as a pet, Rodrick was able to get a new van, and Dad was able to explain having time off from work to bond with family. Greg expresses excitement for where they'll be going next year, but Susan steps in to say that they will be flying. In the post credit scene Greg, Rodrick and Rowley took selfies with two teenage girls, who recognize Greg from the "diaper hands" meme.
- Jason Drucker as Greg Heffley
- Alicia Silverstone as Susan Heffley, Greg’s mother who bans cell phones on the trip
- Tom Everett Scott as Frank Heffley, Greg’s father who is stressed out about work during the trip
- Charlie Wright as Rodrick Heffley, Greg’s older brother
- Owen Asztalos as Rowley Jefferson, Greg’s best friend
- Wyatt and Dylan Walters as Manny Heffley, Greg’s little brother
- Joshua Hoover as Mac Digby, A popular internet gamer whom Greg idolizes
- Christopher A. Coppola as Mr. Beardo, Greg’s nemesis
- Kimberli Lincoln as Mrs. Beardo, Mr. Beardo’s wife
- Mira Silverman as Brandi Beardo, Mr. Beardo’s daughter
- Mimi Gould as Meemaw, Greg’s great-grandmother
In 2012, the series' third entry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days was described as the last live action film in the franchise. In August 2012, while doing press for the film, author Jeff Kinney and actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron each indicated that there were no plans for a fourth movie, but did not dismiss the possibility entirely.
Kinney replied to inquiries regarding the possibility of another sequel, stating, "At present, we don't have a fourth film in development, but you never know!" When describing the likelihood of starring in another film in the series, Gordon explained, "Dog Days most likely will be the last movie. The main problem is [the cast] is getting older. You can't stop it. There's no way to temporarily stop us from changing and growing up. You know, that's the problem because the characters are supposed to be timeless."
In March 2013, Gordon stated in a Spreecast live stream that there would not be a fourth live action film. Previously, Kinney had indicated that instead of making a live action film of the third novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, instead he would like to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever adapted into an animated film, stating in an interview, "I hope that it gets made into an animated movie. but I'd really like to see it turn into an animated television special."
In 2016, it was announced that a live-action film adaptation of the ninth book The Long Haul was in development, and would be featuring a completely new cast playing the Heffleys.
On February 23, 2017, a theatrical poster and teaser trailer were released, and the following month, the official trailer was released. Both trailers received negative feedback from fans for its recasting of the main characters, more specifically the recasting of the character Rodrick Heffley. Many took to social media to further express their outrage and began using the hashtag "#NotMyRodrick", which eventually became a widespread meme. Other hashtags included "#NotMyHeffleys" and "#NotMyRowley".
The Long Haul grossed $20.7 million in the United States and Canada and $19.3 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $40.1 million, against a production budget of $22 million. It was the lowest-grossing film of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by a wide margin.
In North America, the film was initially projected to gross around $12 million from 3,129 theaters during its opening weekend. However, after grossing $2 million on its first day, projections were lowered to $7 million. It ended up finishing with $7.1 million, placing 6th at the box office and marking the lowest opening of the franchise by a wide margin.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 68 reviews and an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With an all-new cast but the same juvenile humor, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul finds the franchise still stuck in arrested – and largely unfunny – development." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, down from the first three films' "A-".
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul was released on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on August 1, 2017, and on Blu-ray and DVD on August 8, 2017 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film grossed $2.6 million in home video sales.
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