Invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay) asks his best friends Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) for some much-needed help on how to pucker up. When they hit a dead end, Max decides to use his father’s drone to spy on the teenage girls next door. When the boys lose the drone, they skip school and hatch a plan to retrieve it before Max’s dad can figure out what happened.
Upon my initial viewing of the first official trailer for Good Boys, I immediately had a concern about the film but I was hoping to be proven wrong. Practically everything about the trailer sold the film as a downright crude, disgusting, and unfunny movie that only had children swearing to offer and nothing else.
However, I was trying to hold out hope due to the fact that it is directed by Gene Stupnitsky, and co-written by him and Lee Eisenberg. These two served as writers on my favorite television comedy series The Office. As soon as I figured this out, my curiosity was rising quite a bit with this discovery, also with the fact that Seth Rogen would be producing, who is usually hilarious.
Gladly, Good Boys is exactly the type of movie that I was hoping it would be. Instead of solely relying on crude humor and featuring annoying children throughout its running time, we are treated to an exceptionally funny yet grounded story of a group of best friends who get into some trouble, but are still good at heart, hence the title.
Honestly, the kids involved here are actually pretty funny and they are quite hard to dislike. Each one of them has something unique about themselves and they all have goals they want to accomplish by the end of the film. By far the most compelling character was Tremblay’s Max, who has a massive crush on his classmate Brixlee (Millie Davis). All he wants to do is to attend a party that a fellow student is hosting in order to hopefully tell her how he feels. Nothing is too crazy to believe about the story which was nice to see.
The most impressive element of Good Boys is without a doubt its humor and the amount of heart it has. All of the jokes, while massively inappropriate, worked really well for the story and what the film as a whole was going for and I never found them to be annoying like the trailers made them out to be. Throughout the film, I constantly laughed at the scenes that were being shown which was a major surprise.
It is not all fun and games at every single second however, as there are some great moments where the picture shows that it has quite a bit of heart. There are a few sequences in the third act that were quite sweet and will warm the hearts of many viewers.
When it comes to issues, sometimes the editing styles can be somewhat jarring, notably in the first twenty minutes or so. The scenes in question utilize slow motion and music cut together and it just felt off. In addition, the third act, while highly entertaining to watch, felt like it was going on way longer than it needed to. Several scenes felt as if they could serve as the final moment in the film and it would have been fine, but the picture keeps moving along. When we finally approach the ending, the final shot was completely unnecessary and it would have been better had the credits rolled just one scene earlier.
Finally, this is a movie in which so many insane things happen that it can be a bit hard to believe at times. If viewers can learn to suspend their disbelief for one hundred and ninty minutes, they will have a fun time. It is not entirely unbelievable, but some plotlines definitely would not work in the real world.
With a terrific cast full of young and funny stars, a ton of heart, and some pure craziness sprinkled in, Good Boys is a highly entertaining time.
Overall Grade: B
MPAA Rating: R for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language throughout – all involving tweens
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Lil Rel Howery, Will Forte, Midori Francis
Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Running Time: 89 minutes