I often point out how too many movies are simply too long for no good reason these days. In many instances, these filmmakers are just wasting time and damaging what could otherwise be decent movies if they shaved off some of the unnecessary stuff and focused on the features that matter. That’s one of the reasons why Good Boys works as well as it does. It doesn’t add anything extra and gets straight to the point.
As they enter sixth grade, a trio of best friends (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon) find themselves worried about what’s next for them. If moving into a new grade wasn’t scary enough, the crew becomes even more anxious once they receive an invite to a kissing party hosted by the coolest kids in school. This sets off a series of unfortunate events that see the young boys running across town trying to avoid trouble after their quest to learn how to kiss goes haywire.
Since this is produced by the guys who brought us Superbad, you knew there would be some raunchy jokes to be had. The thought of having a group of 12-year-olds being involved in this style of comedy may be worrisome for some, but it actually works quite well. A reason for that is that is because the humor isn’t as flagrantly obscene as usual. It’s still crass and everything, but they never go full-on with it. I think even they recognize that doing so would have made it weird and could have potentially turned people off.
While the style of comedy is certainly raunchy, the main reason why it’s rated R is due to the fact that there’s so much profanity from the kids. The other stuff is here, but it’s more restrained and limited than you might expect it to be. A lot of what they take a look at is just touched on without ever being blatant about most of it. This was the best way to handle it since we’re dealing with preadolescent boys and probably won’t make too many people uncomfortable.
Predictably, this is also where the humor in Good Boys comes from. To get this to work the way they needed it to, they did the wise thing and used the naive and developing minds of the kids who are driving the film. Just like kids in real life, they see a lot of things from the adult world that they don’t fully understand. And because of this, they constantly find themselves in weird and funny situations as a result.
This makes things naturally funny as well as turning these kids into relatable characters. I don’t understand why more movies about children aren’t handled in a similar fashion since it can provide ways for viewers to bond with the characters they’re asked to follow. We’ve all been kids at some point in our lives, so presenting them to us like this would give us something to react to and connect to. Usually, that’s one thing that most movies want to happen.
As I stated earlier, one thing that Good Boys benefits from is its runtime. Since it’s only 90 minutes long, they don’t waste time on anything that’s not important. Good Boys does what it needs to do and manages to stay out of its own way. These days, movies are oftentimes extended by adding nonsense that’s completely unnecessary. This can sometimes make movies that would otherwise be fine worse by slowing them down and taking us away from what we’re there for.
Good Boys tries its best to make you laugh and never attempts to extend its reach too far beyond that. That’s why it succeeds and is why it’s easy to recommend to anyone just looking for a good time. I think it’s safe to say that most will enjoy what they get here. Even if you’re one of the few that don’t, the chances of you responding too negatively are slim thanks to its short runtime and quick pace.
Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Keith L. Williams
Lil Rel Howery
Film Length: 90 minutes
Release Date: August 16, 2019
Distributor: Universal Pictures
- Score - 7/107/10