Director: Gene Stupnitsky
Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon
Release Date: November 12, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Jacob Tremblay; Room) is panicking because he doesn’t know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams, Fox’s The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max’s dad’s drone – which Max is forbidden to touch – to spy on a teenage couple making out next door. But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max’s dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and two terrifying teenage girls (Molly Gordon; Life of the Party and Midori Francis; Ocean’s Eight).
‘Good Boys’ accompanies pre-teen best friends Max (Tremblay), Lucas (Williams) and Thor (Noon) who after being invited to their first “kissing party” realize they have no clue what they’re doing and in their panic seek out answers in any way possible. But when googling questionable things and trying to spy on their teenage neighbor only lead them into one problematic scenario after another including a conflict with a pair of troublemaking teenage girls, this trio of best friends find themselves trying to fix their mistakes which only become more numerous along the way, desperate to find answers to their questions while also working to make sure they don’t end up grounded for the party.
Directed by Gene Stupnitsky (TV’s The Office US) from a screenplay that he additionally co-wrote with Lee Eisenberg (TV’s Hello Ladies), Stupnitsky does a highly capable job at the helm of ‘Good Boys’ which also marks his feature length directorial debut, always smoothly guiding along the crude and humorous fun. The film features a cast comprised of some less recognizable faces and a few familiar ones and includes Jacob Tremblay (Wonder), Keith L. Williams (TV’s The Last Man on Earth), Brady Noon (TV’s Boardwalk Empire), Molly Gordon (Booksmart), Midori Francis (Ocean’s Eight), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Retta (TV’s Good Girls), Will Forte (Keanu) and more, with some offering more capable performances than others in each of their respective roles.
‘Good Boys’ is a crude, vulgar and occasionally somewhat heartwarming tale of friendship and the struggles of being a kid, especially in today’s age. It’s consistently fun and often quite hilarious, although certainly not perfect either. An undeniably clever idea in its own right to take such young characters (and those generally unable to attend an R rated motion picture themselves at that) and craft a raunchy and foul-mouthed comedy out of the concept. Regardless of what some may believe, this is how many young boys tend to talk when learning so many new (and taboo) words while simultaneously starting to get an idea of the bigger world and everything about life therein. The formula itself is definitely sound and it certainly manages to result in plenty of hilarious moments and relatable scenarios, although it occasionally gets a bit repetitive or overly goofy, often relying more on the shock value than the plot to move things along, although it does manage to exude a surprising amount of heart at times as well. If the trailer caught your attention and you’d been looking forward to ‘Good Boys’ yet missed it during its theatrical run, I would suggest going ahead and giving it a shot whenever possible. It’s a fairly hilarious and at times quite clever comedy with a smart premise that may not hit all of the right marks, but still manages to hit more than enough of them to make it a thoroughly enjoyable and humorous ride worth taking.
Overall, ‘Good Boys’ is a consistently entertaining and frequently hilarious raunchy comedy that has a few problems but altogether still manages to provide enough fun and laughs to make it worthwhile. It may have its issues and is by no means a perfect film, yet I would still recommend ‘Good Boys’ to those of you that are already excited for the film, along with anyone who tends to enjoy similar raunchy comedy movies in general; you should certainly find yourself thoroughly amused for its duration. If nothing else it should be worth ninety minutes of your time and the cost of a rental one evening when you just want to relax and laugh along with a fairly simple and entertaining comedy that doesn’t require a great deal of brainpower to keep up with.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Good Boys’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and delivers a clean, sharp and brightly colored presentation from start to finish, with no real problems or issues to be found throughout. It holds up smoothly even during the few darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments, always making certain that anything occurring onscreen remains sharp, clean and fully discernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that looks consistently clean and great and should easily please both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a smooth, crisp and frequently active audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send some vehicle activity, music, nature elements and bits of dialogue along with more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that more than delivers in every way required and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Good Boys’ includes a number of enjoyable extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Gene Stupnitsky and Producer/Co-Writer Lee Eisenberg’, in addition to an ‘Alternate Ending’ (running two minutes in length), various ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 10 minutes altogether) and a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 2 minutes). We are also treated to a collection of short Behind the Scenes Featurettes that feature interviews/comments with the cast and crew and behind the scenes footage. The included Featurettes are: ‘Boys For Real’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Welcome to Vancouver’ (approximately 1 minute), ‘A Fine Line’ (3 minutes), ‘Ask Your Parents’ (2 minutes), ‘Bad Girls’ (2 minutes) and ‘Guest Stars’ (2 minutes).