Below-Average Boys (Good Boys review)

From the producers of Sausage Party (Alarm Bells, I hated Sausage Party) comes Good Boys, another film where swearing constitutes 50% of the ‘jokes’. In a day-spanning plot that is as weak as that for Grown Ups 2, three young kids get up to all sorts of ‘hilarious’ adult activities, including selling sex toys and buying drugs. Sometimes passable, mostly uncomfortable, it isn’t great.

The film stars 12 year old Jacob Trembley in the lead role who, after receiving critical acclaim for his work in Room, is now playing Max, a young boy who thinks anal beads are a necklace that just happens to smell like poo. His two best friends Thor and Lucas are played by equally young actors Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams, and the three of them together have great chemistry. The rest of the cast includes Stephen Merchant in a rushed but enjoyable role, and Molly Gordon and Midori Francis as two girls that have interactions with the boys.

The plot of the film is utterly ridiculous. After his dad goes away for the weekend, Max gets invited to a ‘kissing party’. Not knowing how to kiss, he and his friends use his dads drone to spy on two girls kissing. When that goes wrong, they get entangled in a plot that includes drug trade, violence and sex toys, and along the way their friendship will tested. The sheer mechanics the film’s plot has to work through to get the lads to do stupid things are so unbelievable that it detracts from the film, and in a comedy film this became an issue. When an actual line in the film is “We have to get the drugs, so we can get the drone, so we can go to the party”, you know you have problems.

Just as Sausage party was ‘funny’ because it was swearing food, so too is Good Boys ‘funny’ because it’s young kids swearing and doing adult things. Obviously the inverted comma’s throughout the review have given the hint that I wasn’t won over by the comedy, and though I chuckled several times it, I was never that impressed with the jokes or situations. At certain points, the jokes became uncomfortable and in some cases morally questionable. At one point, because the plot got them there, Max (again, critically acclaimed actor Jacob Trembley) kissed the sex toy that the dad of his mate owns, before complaining that it was sticky and there was a hair in it. That’s just vile.

Overall, Good Boys is a serviceable but very weak, lowest common denominator comedy that relies far too heavily on the same stale joke of kids doing adult things.

5 stars 2

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