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‘Long Haul’ has barf jokes plus a few good laughs

The formula is maybe 70 percent attention to the plot, and 30 percent setup and execution of barf, poop and flatulence jokes. A “Wimpy Kid” movie has about as much chance of enduring cinematic greatness as a Chuck E. Cheese animatronic band has of winning a Tony award. “The Long Haul” is the fourth film based on the popular graphic novel series by Jeff Kinney, and the first with a rebooted cast. In this one, new Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) is forced on a road trip with his affable but strict parents, who insist on no phones or other digital screens. Playing the mother is Alicia Silverstone, which is a hell of a sucker punch for those of us who swear she played a teenager in “Clueless” only five or six years ago. Just kill me. She’s an excellent addition, performing the role with an over-the-top flair, but also from a loving, sincere and vaguely relatable place. For parents and kids who are constantly fighting about screen time, the ride home from “The Long Haul” might actually be a good place to start peace talks. A side plot involving a rival road-tripping family probably worked well in the more fantastical graphic novel medium, but the crimes and misdemeanors being committed by these families border on disturbing with flesh-and-blood actors involved. [...] though, it’s all mostly harmless fun. Adam Sandler would be envious of the scene where older brother Rodrick (Charlie Wright) tries to put a microwave pizza in a motel safe.

Article by By Peter Hartlaub (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.