There’s laziness present to nearly every aspect of the movie that turns the meager runtime of 91 minutes into an eternity. Subplots are forgotten about and never pay off as with dad struggling to keep his job and Rodrick requiring funds for his van. Both problems are resolved off-screen without a single answer about how. The gags are not only seen coming a mile away, but also come packaged with the most predictable of punchlines that I actually started mouthing them ahead of schedule for the sad satisfaction of being correct.
There was a twinge of creativity in a scene where an angry fat man pursues Greg into a bathroom where they reenact the infamous shower scene from Psycho. Clever, but not when the director doesn’t have the guts to go all the way with the joke and adhere to every iconic shot. How can you possibly film a Psycho parody and not have it end with some fluid circling the drain? It could have been the one moment where adults were thrown a bone in this predictable farce, but the most complete reference we’re given is the full version of Spice Girls’ Wannabe, painfully sung by the whole family.
I’ve come to expect certain movies to be bereft of ideas, foul with characters, overflowing with bodily fluids and tired with old comedy bits, but not in a film aimed at kids. Kids should be seeing movies that tell them the world isn’t as artificial and ugly as the one portrayed in The Long Haul, where fat bearded men will chase you to the ends of the Earth and adults will cyberbully you into internet memes. I have to believe the world is a better place than this, even though every parent and child in the theater was eating up the poop and vomit jokes with a spoon. The adults may be a lost cause, but I hope the kids grow up to develop better taste in movies. Hopefully they can look back with a little embarrassment for laughing at the film where little Jason Drucker stuck his hands in baby poop and Charlie Wright barfed in some guy’s mouth.