Good Boys (2019)

GENE STUPNITSKY

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA, 2019, , Screenplay by , Cinematography by Produced by Lee Eisenberg, , , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by .  

The Hangover is combined with Stand By Me for a rambunctious comedy about three tween boys who have been best friends since kindergarten. Now in the sixth grade, Max (), Thor () and Lucas () see the opportunity to up their social status when Max is invited to a really cool kid’s party, but there are obstacles in their way of getting to this blessed event: Max has broken his father’s expensive drone and needs to replace it, and the attempt at doing so involves stealing drugs from older girls who will stop at nothing to get them back. The humour in the overly complicated and yet overly familiar plot mainly comes from the fact that these boys, poised on the edge of puberty and clearly anxious about it, act like they’re ready for adulthood but clearly miss all the references to sexuality and hard living that they are constantly fielding from the older people around them. Most of the jokes are low-hanging fruit, with a few gags involving Thor’s parents’ sex toys that hit the mark, and the film is a tiresome rehashing of many similar movies from recent years that, like its protagonists, talks a lot tougher than it actually is. The aim to push the envelope by showing kids behaving as badly as their older counterparts isn’t accomplished, director Gene Stupnitsky definitely keeps their innocence intact other than letting them utter the odd four-letter word, but unlike an inferior film like Blockers, it isn’t as conflicted about the tone of sweetness that it wants to throw into the mix of their guileless errors and bad behaviour. The stars are clearly child actors who have been raised on film sets and their performances are more technically impressive than convincing, but they are appealing and their energy at least makes the movie bearable, while  and steal the show as their outraged teenaged nemeses.

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