This movie brings to life the popular Diary Of A Wimpy Kid book series by Jeff Kinney. The essence of the Napolean-esque pre-teen Greg Heffley is beautifully captured by the angel-faced Zachary Gordon.
Greg is the egotistical middle child in the Heffley family sandwiched between annoying teen older bully-brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick), and little brother Manny (Connor and Owen Fielding).
Greg and his goody-two-shoes best pal Rowley (Robert Capron) have just started middle school. Greg is convinced that he will be the most popular guy in school before term is over.
But he is limited by his dimunitive stature (which is diametrically opposed to his self-confidence). He and Rowley find themselves outcasts, eating their lunch next to the dustbin.
Determined to gain respect, Greg joins the wrestling club (only to be trashed by a girl), the school safety patrol (only to be kicked out when he leaves the kindergarteners he’s tasked to protect, in a ditch in the rain), the school musical (only to be cast as a tree).
So blinded is he by his quest that he lets Rowley take the blame for his abandonment of the kindergarteners, and in a freak accident, causes Rowley to break his arm. Schoolmates ask to sign his cast, and soon Rowley is sitting with the prettiest girls in school. Greg, on the other hand, finds himself the most unpopular boy around.
A well-paced,well-acted morality tale that has both kids and the parents thinking hard about the importance of character in a dog-eat-dog world, Wimpy Kid the movie succeeds in transcending the puerile gags in the books, to teach a valuable lesson in integrity.