Review: The Life of a Loser 4: Fluff Holiday – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)

The Life of a Loser 4: Fluff Holiday – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017)

Directed by: David Bowers | 91 minutes | comedy, family | Actors: Jason Drucker, Alicia Silverstone, Tom Everett Scott, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Dylan Walters, Wyatt Walters, Joshua Hoover, Chris Coppola, Mira Silverman, Carlos Guerrero

There are some books that young non-readers get to read anyway. The Harry Potter series is of course an obvious example, but Dutch writer Marcel van Driel also regularly receives messages from parents that he has become addicted to reading thanks to his ‘Superheroes’ series. Somewhat more famous internationally is Jeff Kinney, from the series ‘The Life of a Loser’ (original title “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”). Because the pages are hilariously illustrated and the layout makes such a ‘diary’ read like a train and that is exactly what appeals to non-read fans. And of course the books are just plain fun! The number of books that Kinney wrote about his beloved ‘loser’, Gregg Heffley, now stands at twelve, the number of film versions now at four.

‘The life of a loser 4: Flutvakantie’ differs in many ways from the previous trilogy. The entire cast has been replaced, leaving us to miss the endearing Zachary Gordon, the delightfully irritating Devon Bostick and the ever-fun Steve Zahn. The last ‘Leven van een loser’ (‘A dog’s life’) is already five years old when the sequel comes out, so the lead actor is too old, a recognizable problem with these kinds of films. That doesn’t always have to be a problem (see ‘Mees Kees along the line’), but the new casting doesn’t work out well here. Leading actor Jason Drucker lacks charisma and cannot yet boast of an extensive package of emotions, so that he often has the same facial expression. The actor who plays his older brother Rodrick, Charlie Wright, is also less convincing than his predecessor.

However, the biggest problem of ‘Flutholiday’ is the scenario. Aside from the fact that we’ve seen the “family outing to reconnect” premise so many times, it’s been so over the top here that most of the jokes are killing and all logic has been stripped out of the story. . Greg gets into a fight with an annoying family who live in the same motel as them, but instead of enlisting his parents’ help, he continues to deny the problem and has to do his very best to avoid the family. Why he doesn’t just go to his parents is a mystery. And when the final destination is finally in sight, the whole family decides not to walk the last part, but to push the (broken) car down a hill. Of course.

For the (young) target group, the lack of logic and successful humor is not such an insurmountable problem. They will probably still enjoy this reboot of the ‘Life of a Loser’ series (which was made by the same director as part 2 and 3). But if you really want to make them laugh, the first three movies (or Jeff Kinney’s books, of course) are a much better choice.

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