REVIEW: ‘Good Boys,’ good comedy

Those transitional years between the elementary level and high school level can be a rough time for kids, and that’s especially true for the three characters featured in “Good Boys.”

The movie stars Jacob Tremblay as Max, Keith Williams as Lucas and Brady Noon as Thor. The three best friends are on the more nerdy side of things in their school and as a result aren’t shown to be with the “in crowd.” However, opportunity arises when Max and his friends are invited to a party where there may be, gasp, kissing.

The trio is hyped to go, but days before the party, an incident involving a broken drone and drugs causes them to skip school and go on a quest of sorts to set everything right without their parents finding out.

The excitement wasn’t really there walking into “Good Boys,” since most promotional material just made it look like a movie with a gimmick of having kids swear. That, of course, would grow tiring after some time. Fortunately, the movie offers more.

The trio does in fact cuss and there are plenty of raunchy jokes here. What makes it work, though, is none of the characters really know what anything means yet, so the humor is more drawn from their confusion and obliviousness in their reactions to some of the events taking place.

GoodBoysBlog
Courtesy Point Grey Pictures and Universal Pictures.

Where the movie really hits its stride, though, is the journey the movie sets this trio on, which takes up the entire second act and then some. It’s one of those scenarios where a group of characters go on a journey with a lot of random, over-the-top occurrences along the way and nearly every scene is funny.

There are some really unexpected sequences here and they consistently produce laughs for the audience. There’s one especially absurd moment taking place at a frat house that’s downright hilarious.

The movie is also greatly benefited by its young lead stars. Tremblay is the most well known after starring in the 2015 award winning picture “Room,” but the other performers hold their own well.

Each character does fall into a sort of cliche, with Lucas being the more timid one, Thor more driven and Max somewhere in between. But these traits are played up in a fun way and it’s never excessive with the cliches to the point where they become caricatures. At the end of the day they’re just three boys and they’re played well here.

Maybe stealing the show, though, were Molly Gordon and Midori Francis as Hanna and Lily. The two are high school girls who cross paths with the trio several times and the interactions between the two factions are fantastic.

The comedy isn’t without its flaws. The third act and more specifically the ending didn’t stick the landing as well as one would have hoped. Plus not all of the humor hits its mark, with some gags going on too long.

With that said, though, this is still one of the better comedies this year. Despite not all of it working, this one still provides a lot of laughs and does so with a reasonable 90 minute runtime. 4.0 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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