“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” (Fox)

Jason Drucker and Owen Asztalos star in a scene from the movie "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Fox)

By Catholic News Service

An excess of scatological humor as well as a lack of creative drive blight this family road comedy, adapted by writer-director David Bowers from the novel by Jeff Kinney. As his family sets off on a cross-country journey to attend his great-grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration, a mild-mannered middle schooler (Jason Drucker) rails against his mom’s (Alicia Silverstone) ban on the use of electronics during the trip — a prohibition his overworked father (Tom Everett Scott) likewise finds it difficult to obey.

Recently shamed by an embarrassing video that went viral, the lad also plots with his older brother (Charlie Wright) to make a detour to a gaming convention where he hopes a taped encounter with an online celebrity (Joshua Hoover) will retrieve his reputation. A series of misadventures and indignities await the youthful protagonist as the film ambles along to little purpose. Too many of these involve excretion to allow endorsement for all.

Much distasteful potty humor, brief adult wordplay. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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