Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG, 94 mins)
Director: David Bowers
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For the third summer running, the likeable family comedies based on the book series by Jeff Kinney get a cinematic outing. It’s the summer holidays for teenager Greg (Zachary Gordon), who’s looking forward to three months of playing video games. His dad (Steve Zahn) has more outdoorsy ideas for him though, and has also had his head turned by a fancy prep school that Greg thinks he might be sent to if he doesn’t buck up his ideas. Greg’s misadventures are good natured but starting to wear a little thin, with their episodic structure and gags that are sometimes left dangling. But there’s plenty zany slapstick that offers comparable chuckles to many grown up comedies and an ongoing streak of decency and integrity that lifts the series above a lot of kid-oriented fare. And at least there’s much more Zahn than there’s been in the past, which is always a good thing.