Maybe we've gotten too accustomed to movies with plots. 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' was loose and episodic, but little schemer Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) had a mission -- to scale his social ladder by any means necessary. It wasn't complicated, but there was at least some measure of structure. 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules' has no beginning, middle, or natural end, playing out less like an actual movie and more like a marathon viewing of a season's worth of a cheap, unfunny kids' television show.
"Unfunny" is key here. Screenwriters Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah return, this time for director David Bowers ('Astro Boy'), and they've lost whatever grasp they had on the material the first time out. Their slapdash script, coupled with Bowers' flat, point-and-shoot direction, make for a series of inconsequential scenes that go nowhere, their calculated wackiness punctuated in all of the wrong ways by Edward Shearmur's too on-the-nose score.