Unfortunately, neither he nor his co-writer, Kinney himself, manage to imbue this story with either surprises or charm.
Crass, heavy-handed and predictable comedy attend every tribulation suffered by the hapless Heffley family, and above all the spectacularly accident-prone Greg (the engaging Jason Drucker).
And a Mail report on potholes yielded the line about ‘4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire’.
There is more multi-ethnicity in the Outer Hebrides.
Anyway, that just about covers the plot, or at least that of it I was able to fathom.
Incidentally, King Arthur had a widely derided cameo by David Beckham.
Salazar’s Revenge goes one better, with a walk-on for Paul Mc Cartney.
This is the fourth of the series of films based on Jeff Kinney’s best-selling children’s books, which are close to my heart because my youngest son loved them.
But the sub-title, though it relates to an incident-strewn, 47-hour road trip across the United States, rather sums up what it felt like to sit through to the movie’s end. The last film in the series was five years ago, so the cast is a new one, though the director, Dave Bowers, is a Wimpy Kid veteran.
For example, one of the band’s biographers, Philip Norman, explodes the myth that John Lennon was the driving force behind the avant-garde experimentalism that led to Sgt Pepper.
It wasn’t Lennon but Mc Cartney, who even as a schoolboy had been fascinated by modern art.
So Henry needs Jack, too, to lead him to the legendary Poseidon’s trident, which, as we all know, can unlock any watery curse.