Note: This is a spoiler-free Good Boys movie review
When was the last time you laughed at a sixth-grader practicing his kissing techniques on a sex doll?
Not recently? You must not have seen Jacob Tremblay’s latest project.
Good Boys is immature, crude, and hilarious in every way you would expect for an “R” rated comedy driven by a group of tweens.
I’m not sure what critics of this movie can really expect. The trailer, press tour, and rating tell you exactly what you’re gonna get with Good Boys.
The movie essentially relies on the comedy that exists in kids acting like adults. Think “Kids Say The Darndest Things”, but these three best friends are saying the darndest things you can think of.
Max (Jacob Tremblay) is the leader of the group called The Beanbag Boys. He’s a girl-crazy boy discovering puberty, becoming popular, and willing to do anything to kiss the girl of his dreams.
Lucas (Keith L. Williams) is the rule-follower of the group. He proves to be the moral compass every time the boys are causing trouble — or as much of a moral compass as a 12-year-old can be anyway. Lucas is the best source for one-liners throughout the movie.
Thor (Brady Noon) knows sixth grade is a turning point for him. He’ll do anything to be a cool kid, and being exposed as anything less is the beginning of the end. This leads to a constant internal struggle of not being sure how much he should show his true self. Lucky for him he has parents who are “experienced”, so he should be well on his way.
All in all, Good Boys has laugh-out-loud funny moments throughout the entire movie.
It’s not a stretch to say that won’t go more than 3-5 minutes without at least smiling. As long as you don’t look at scenes critically. The jokes are fast and furious, which means not all will land but you do get plenty of opportunities to laugh.
Call me crazy. But I think tweens having no clue about kissing, drinking beer, sex toys, and tampons but acting like they know exactly what they’re talking about is funny. That makes for a lot of high-quality one-liners coming out of the mouths of kids. The movie does rely on the same joke too often too many times, but it’s still funny the first few times.
The movie has a bit of a tone problem, but not in the way you might think. Good Boys sets the expectation of kids having the acting chops and comedic timing of adults because they’re acting like adults. Expectations need to be tempered — not everything will work. The actors are kids.
Jacob Tremblay is 12 years old while using every curse word he can and talking about anal beads. Don’t expect greatness from every scene. Sit back, turn your brain off for 90 minutes, and enjoy what you can.
That said, everything that isn’t a sex joke, one-liner, or kids cursing falls flat. There are a lot of pauses for jokes that produce no laughs, which make for some awkward moments. There are also multiple ridiculous scenes in the movie. Not “funny” ridiculous, but more like “this is over the top and we don’t need this scene” ridiculous.
The heart of Good Boys is a tight friend group slowly growing apart as they enter middle school and realizing how they’re different. It’s an adventure story that showcases adversity pulling kids apart, while also bringing them closer.
None of that lands because of how outrageous the rest of the movie is. Instead, the serious scenes feel out of place and drawing away from the funny. Which doesn’t matter because you’re watching an “R” rated kid comedy.
Should I Go See Good Boys?
This really depends on your maturity level. Or immaturity level, I should say. If you don’t take yourself too seriously and you want 90 minutes of laughs, this is a fun watch. If you’re looking for some sense of plot or need to evaluate a movie, head elsewhere.
(Featured Image courtesy of EPK)