Zachary Gordon, as the wimpy kid of the title, seems to be aiming for a Ferris Buehler-esque omniscience and superiority and, while he doesn't quite pull it off all the way, I was down for his struggle.
Conveys, in a good-humoured, sharply observed way, the small, painful cruelties and unpredictable rules of early adolescence, and it celebrates awkwardness without feeling the need to convert it into cheap triumph.
The film retains much of the original humour, some of it well executed. It's reasonably faithful to the spirit of the books, probably because Kinney is the executive producer, but it's by no means equal to his originals.
While the blackness of many situations resonates and despite some amusing moments, the film's tone is so ardent and realistic, it often works against it. Nonetheless, this coming of age film for the under 12 set has merit and charm