Movie Review | Good Boys
Movie summary: Three 6th grade boys ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and trying to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party. (IMDb)
I went into Good Boys not really knowing what to expect, as I'd only seen the one trailer (albeit multiple times) and wondered just how far it could really push things taking into account the age of the cast, the central trio especially. Just how rude could it really be when the actors you'll be following for the whole film are literally kids?
There was a worry that it would just end up with the kids acting like grown-ups, but Good Boys is thankfully smarter than that and - plenty of swearing aside - the kids react to adult stuff the same way any kid would: with total confusion. A lot of the humour comes from this, especially when the kids encounter sexual... items of which they have absolutely no understanding.
In a lot of ways, the movie feels very much like a live-action South Park, even if the kids here are a little older than Stan, Kyle, Cartman and the others. There's a lot of bad language, crude humour and inventive use of adult paraphernalia that would be at home in the TV show too, although there is one moment at the end of the movie that dips a little too far into the unreal for live-action.
That moment is the result of having a story that needs to finish the second act before moving on to the final part of the movie and doesn't really do it that well. The story isn't particularly great either, being used as more a device to hang small vignettes on to create the humour. Then again, I doubt many will care as it is the humour and the characters that really make this movie work.
Lucas (Keith L. Williams) is the hardest for me to really connect with, because he seems like a really great friend to the others but constantly lands them in trouble thanks to his need to be honest. Williams is absolutely hilarious in the role however his character is required to behave, but his character unfortunately feels like the one that the writers could change at will to get the story to the next point.
Brady Noon's Thor (I'm guessing his parents are either big Marvel fans or have some Norse ancestry the movie never reveals?) at least feels consistent throughout, although I would say is also the least funny. That's not to say he's not funny, but his plot of dealing with peer pressure and social standing simply means there isn't as much potential for comedy as with the other boys.
Max, played by Jacob Tremblay, has arguably the central role in the trio, with the simplest story of wanting to go out with a girl at school. Thanks to the others pushing him, he usually ends up with the single funniest moments in any given scene, but having such a simple story does make the character come across a little thin at times.
Despite how fun to watch the three boys are, my favourite characters in Good Boys are Hannah and Lily, played by Molly Gordon and Midori Francis respectively. Apparently, their characters are supposed to be teenagers, but they look and act more like young women in their early twenties (Gordon is 23 and Francis 27), which wouldn't really change anything, so I don't know why they were established with the younger ages?
Regardless, they're both brilliant and I'd genuinely love to see them get their own movie as the characters are so fun. They're obviously both more grown-up than the boys, but still a little immature in their own ways, which only serves to make them even funnier. Oh, and I'd love to see Midori Francis as a villain in an action movie - there's a very funny scene where she chases the boys on foot that made me want to watch her as a Terminator.
For me, that sequence was one of the very few memorable sequences and was mainly due to how good Francis is as a physical performer rather than any clever dialogue. The issue is that there were no moments that really stood out as big laughs. There's enough humour to keep you pretty much constantly laughing, but very little that lasts once the movie is over.
it's really strange to judge this movie as it genuinely is good enough to keep you laughing throughout, but that 'rolling' comedy prevents the story and characters from ever feeling like they truly matter to what you're seeing and hearing. If you want to laugh, go see Good Boys - just don't expect to be quoting it to friends or remembering anything major once it's over.
Good Boys is a very funny movie, but doesn't really have enough substance to it to be considered a great film. Lacking in big 'moments', it doesn't prove particularly memorable, even though I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I would be perfectly happy to see it again, and would definitely love to see it get a sequel if the characters get fleshed out just a little more.