It’s the third time, but still very little charm in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” the latest installment of the middle-school misadventures of author Jeff Kinney’s neurotic hero, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon).
Greg has only two goals for summer vacation: Play video games and hook up with the lovely Holly Hills (Peyton List). But when his dad (Steve Zahn) unplugs the TV for the summer, Greg leeches onto his dorky pal Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron) for his family’s membership to a posh country club, where Holly teaches tennis to the kids.
Director David Bowers lines up episodes of Greg’s summer that all play out the same way the first two movies did: Embarrassing thing happens; Greg makes up a lie to cover up his embarrassment and ends up throwing his friends — especially Rowley — under the bus in the process.
Greg isn’t just wimpy, but manipulative and selfish, and no amount of after-school-special lessons and father-son bonding in the final 10 minutes is enough to overcome that.
‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’
Opens today at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some rude humor; 94 minutes.