Good Boys relies heavily on it’s ‘in the moment’ ideals, but that doesn’t matter when it’s made well
It would be impossible to discuss Good Boys properly without mentioning the morality of the piece. Lead ‘Bean Bag Boy’ Max, played by Jacob Tremblay, is 12 years old. The kid can only just watch a 12A on his own. He’s nowhere near the age allowing him to watch his own film this time around (which, as it happens, the marketing behind Good Boys loved to tap into). But it poses the question of whether this should be happening? It’s motives are even more questionable than they are when children are utilised into horror movies, because they are exposed to all forms of erotic props and adult feature devices. At least in a horror there’s a way to hold back the full effects of the fear until post production; Good Boys gives it’s tweens unlimited access to a world’s worth of adult humour.
Yet the film has been made, and by forgetting about the morality for a moment, Good Boys can genuinely be considered a strong comedy, with quick pacing and a funny, realistic script. In the strangest of fashions, it’s a well produced piece of film making.
Max, Lucas, and Thor Are the ‘Bean Bag Boys’, three youngsters moving to the 6th grade, traversing the already difficult social landscape of school. When Max is invited to a ‘kissing party’ party, he gets Lucas and Thor a secondary invite, giving him a chance with his crush Brixlee. Desperate to find out how to kiss, the trio steal Max’s Dad’s drone, losing it in neighbour Hannah’s back garden after trying to spy on her. They must now spend all of their energy trying to get it back, with the fear of them becoming grounded and missing out on the year’s hottest event.
Tremblay is clearly well traversed in the realms of Hollywood, even at the age of 12, and his lead is always engaging despite his young age. Kieth L. Williams and Brady Noon add in their own comedic turns, with the humour flowing from every scene, offering real purpose even when it doesn’t seem like there should be any. Gene Stupinsky has clearly directed the entire production with conviction, honing in on the comedy and working out from that core. Good Boys is a film we have seen many times before in different iterations, but Stupinsky has made this a very solid production.
Feeling particularly care free, it’s a style that seems to work well for low budget comedies with no overarching meaning. Good Boys relies heavily on it’s ‘in the moment’ ideals, but that doesn’t matter when it’s made well. There’s no offering of secondary thinking or reflection, just the recounting of good moments and the ability to reference its best jokes.
Good Boys didn’t need to supply more than that, becoming, probably, exactly what it should have done. However, when it is actually thought about as a reflection, the morality comes back; and realistically, should we be exposing children to such imagery and feeling in this way? I’m not so sure, and not thinking about it is simply ignoring the problem, isn’t it?
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