A hard-R comedy starring three twelve year-olds? Well that’s certainly new. It seems like a great idea, a perfect opportunity for some belly laughs. I was excited to see this film because the trailers did seem like there were some good laughs to be had. I was right, Good Boys does boast some pretty good laughs. There are some scenes with sight gags and lines that are just virtually impossible not to laugh at, unless you hate raunchy comedy, in that case stay very far away from this. While there are some laughs, the direction is lacking.
Jacob Tremblay is quite an impressive young actor from what I’ve seen and it’s clear he’s going places with his career. Tremblay does a great job here of playing a nice kid, very charming and likable. But don’t think he’s like that throughout…. he also does a commendable job of being funny and turning kind of psycho, which he does several times. I liked seeing him show off his range, which is pretty impressive for a kid. I’d never seen him in a comedic setting but I think he should for sure do more in this genre. Keith L. Williams is someone I’ve never seen in anything so this was my first take on him as a young actor and I was impressed. Williams is the “bless your heart” kind of really nice kid that never breaks any rules. Even though there are times in the film where he said or did things that were so cringeworthy, he plays the role with an appealing lovability.
Brady Noon is good also, his character is struggling to make it in middle school, being teased constantly for not trying a beer. While I don’t feel he was quite as memorable as Tremblay or Williams, I was still pleased with his performance. My two favorite cast members and characters aren’t even the main players, it’s Molly Gordon and Midori Francis. They play a couple of high school girls who catch the boys spying on them with a drone and end up being the antagonists for a good chunk of the film. They played their roles perfectly and had some really effective comedic moments.
Will Forte, who plays Tremblay’s father has one really great moment in the first scene. Forte actually got the biggest laugh out of me with the opening. Speaking of laughs, yes as I’ve mentioned, there are good laughs to be had but I do wish they came more often. The main reason there aren’t more laughs is that the raunchy brand of comedy does get a bit old after a while. Raunchy humor can be very funny and the thing that got the big laugh from me was raunchy so I’m not saying that humor isn’t effective, but you do have to know when to mix things up. Yes, the kids discovering the parents sex toys is funny and there’s a couple effective sight gags with that, but you’ve got to be careful, don’t want to beat a dead horse.
Another thing that Good Boys struggles with is direction and pacing. I felt like I was watching a series of episodes in a raunchy TV show more than I felt like I was watching a film. There was actually a moment towards the end of the second act where I was asked myself what their end goal was again? The film just goes so hard with each individual crazy mix up they get into that I forgot what the goal/mission was. The direction is just muddled. And while yes I got laughs out of the crazy mix ups, the structure could’ve been tighter.
Good Boys has its moments of good hearty laughter, that’s for sure. While it does provide those laughs, the humor isn’t varied enough and does get kind of old after a while. The direction could’ve been a good bit tighter as well. I would advise you rent this when it comes out instead of seeing it in theaters.
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