This kid’s not all right, he’s a drip

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews -

ONE MAY as well lie down in front of a ram­pag­ing rhino as at­tempt to halt the ad­vance of the Wimpy Kid films. Based on live­lier books by Jeff Kin­ney, the first two movies pow­ered their way to­wards mas­sive tak­ings at the box of­fice. It’s all a bit de­press­ing.

Par­ents may puz­zle at the odd­ness of SpongeBob, say, but that project is at home to brac­ing de­grees of an­ar­chy. As the Wimpy Kid films have pro­gressed, they have be­come steadily less quirky and con­sis­tently more con­form­ist. When did kids be­come so gosh­darned bor­ing?

The lat­est finds the pro­tag­o­nist, a self-con­scious young­ster, fac­ing up to sum­mer in some anony­mous subur­ban hell. In or­der to get close to a pretty girl, he be­gins sneak­ing into the lo­cal coun­try club with his gorm­less, pud­ding-bowl-haired chum. A sur­pris­ingly busy hive of sub­plots fes­ters in the un­der­growth: the threat of pri­vate school­ing, fallings out with his chum’s par­ents, dis­tur­bances in his older brother’s rock band.

The act­ing is ad­e­quate. The out­breaks of an­i­ma­tion, though too sparse, are com­pe­tently car­ried off. It ends be­fore it out­stays its wel­come.But the thing is just so in­fu­ri­at­ingly drab and bour­geois. What hap­pened to mad­ness? What hap­pened to re­bel­lion? Oh, what’s the bloody point? No­body’s lis­ten­ing.


Zzzzzzzzzzz Di­rected by David Bow­ers. Star­ring Zachary Gor­don, Steve Zahn, Robert Capron, Devon Bo­stick, Rachael Har­ris, Pey­ton List

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