Good Boys – Movie Review – Superbad lite, with added mediocrity.

Good Boys follows three seventh grade boys as they ditch school and embark on a wild journey, all whilst they try and prepare for a long awaited party.

This film (the latest comedy from producer Seth Rogen) starts off in a rather amusing way that had me chuckling every few minutes or so. Most of the laughs can be attributed to the novelty of seeing a group of foul mouthed twelve year olds, encounter scenarios that are way beyond their years. Madness ensues with them in a number of ways, such as them uncovering sex toys and not knowing what they are, being in possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, and more things of that nature.

Now because so much of the comedy relies on factors like that in order for the script to fully work, the film can not afford to allow that novelty to wear off. The cast work greatly to the films benefit, with the standout and outright scene stealer being Keith L. Williams. He portrays Lucas who is essentially the voice of reason in many of the wild situations the kids get mixed up in. Keith’s comedic timing is spot on and whenever the jokes aren’t flying at you, he manages to accurately portray a kid who is somewhat frightened about his future, after recently learning that his parents are filling for a divorce.

Jacob Tremblay and Brady Noon portray Max and Thor, the other two kids in the main cast. Jacob felt very natural in this role, blending his youthful exuberance with humour, whereas Brady is just fine. His acting felt a little forced and his comedic timing wasn’t as consistent as Jacob and Keith, because of this I didn’t find him as likeable as the other two. The jokes don’t always rely on the kids though. A few notable adult actors show up in brief roles to provide some extra laughs, which is a welcome change of pace.

Now do you remember what I said about the novelty of the humour, having to remain in place for the film to work? Well it doesn’t. The humour started to wear thin around the half way point and I became relatively bored. The biggest problem I have, is how predicable and formulaic everything becomes. If you’ve seen a handful of teen comedies from the past ten years, then you’ve pretty much seen this film already. At a point it feels like it’s going into cruise control through the motions, without attempting to stray away from the typical conventions of the teen comedy genre. Don’t get me wrong the message this film has for teens of that age is a good one, but for me that doesn’t give it a pass to hit every single dramatic beat I expected it to hit.

Overall, Good Boys feels like Superbad with twelve year olds, except it’s nowhere near as funny. It’s by no means bad, but I can’t call it all that good either. After a promising start, it just begins to feel a little stale.

★ ★ ★

(3 Stars out of 5)

– T. Graham.

Good Boys – Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon and Molly Gordon.

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky.

Now showing in cinemas.

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