Film Review – Good Boys

Good Boys (MA)

Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon

Four stars

Review by: Julian Wright

At first glance, Good Boys seems like a one-joke premise: apply the teen comedy raunchiness to a trio of primary school aged boys. Porky’s, Fast times At Ridgemont High and American Pie – but with kids.

A surefire way to get a few cheap laughs (little kids swearing – LOL!), but Good Boys goes the route of Superbad: making sure there is an equal dose of heart and growing pains to go with the smuttier elements. And as that teen hit proved, it is a winning formula.

When sixth grade best buddies Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) are invited by the most popular kids in school to their first kissing party, the trio immediately start researching technique.

Using Max’s Dad’s strictly off-limits drone to spy on his teenage neighbours for pointers gets them into trouble and sets them off on an epic day-long adventure that brings them into contact with drugs, drug dealers, sex toys and heavy freeway traffic.

The opening moments threaten to sexualise these youngsters to an uncomfortable level with Max and his Dad having an awkward birds and bees style chat about masturbating (setting such a tone made me very anxious about where this film was going – they are 12 years old!), but my fears were soon allayed.

goodboys

Sure, these foul mouthed, F-word spouting little charmers come across p*rn, dildos and a sex doll, but they still retain their innocence (hilariously mispronouncing an*l beads and mistaking a sex doll for a CPR training doll). The three are still super sweet and angelic one moment (Lucas is a constant truth-teller) while dropping as many F-bombs as the grown ups.

Writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, very wisely, keep these character’s mentality age appropriate – they are curious, but not beyond their years. This is not a shocking, gasp inducing Kids scenario of innocence shattered into smithereens and long lost. They come of age here, but not that far.

The cast is impeccable – these are some genuinely likable kids, something that this kind of film hinges on. The filmmakers certainly struck gold here.

Williams and Noon are breakouts but Tremblay once again proving himself to be quite a young talent. He is the most angelic looking of the bunch, with his soulful and sad-looking eyes, but is still able to convincingly convey anger and intimidation and swear like a sailor with conviction like he has been doing it for decades.

With plenty of adult content that could make grown-ups blush, this is definitely not a kid’s movie and deserves it’s MA rating. But once those youngsters are of age, show them this highly entertaining comedy.

 

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