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Blu-ray Review: Good Boys

November 12, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

A pint-sized Superbad that sets the action in middle school instead of high school, Good Boys is an enjoyable comedy from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg that features potty-mouthed pre-teens as its stars.

The film follows Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams), a trio of childhood friends who are in the sixth grade and just starting to think about relationships, but are too young to have any experience, still being a ways removed from even their first kisses.

When they get invited to a “kissing party” by cool kid Soren (Izaac Wang), the kids become worried that their lack of experience will lead to embarrassment, so they decide to ditch school for the day and gain some first hand knowledge in the art of making out.

This involves Max stealing an expensive camera drone that belongs to his father (Will Forte), who has left him with explicit instructions not to touch it, and using it to spy on his “nymphomaniac” neighbour Hannah (Molly Gordon). But things inevitably don’t go as planned, leading to all sorts of hijinks, which are triggered when Hannah smashes the drone and the boys take her purse, which they soon find out is carrying the drugs that she just bought. As she pursues them to try and get back her stash of molly, the boys end up on a wild goose chase, trying to replace the drone before Max’s dad gets back from work.

While the concept of watching kids talk dirty could have easily grown stale quite quickly, Good Boys nicely embellishes its one-joke premise with a surprisingly heartfelt story about friendship and coming to terms with the fact that the friends you have in childhood might not stay with you as you mature and develop different interests. This aspect of the film is handled quite well, leading to a suitably bittersweet ending. Despite the overt raunchiness of much of the material, the film often still maintains a certain innocence, which is a big part of its appeal, and keeps it from crossing the line into feeling creepy.

In terms of plot, Good Boys follows a lot of the same beats as Superbad, but this derivativeness doesn’t take away from its enjoyability. Like Booksmart earlier this year, which also took familiar coming of age tropes and explored them from a fresh angle, Good Boys is the sort of film that delivers pretty much exactly what you expect and does it well. The film also has a welcome modern edge, touching upon important issues like consent and respecting women.

In addition, Good Boys features a fine ensemble cast and is carried by likeable performances from its young leads, who all seem to be relishing the opportunity to swear and say crude things. This includes another promising turn from child star Tremblay, who displays a keen comic sensibility to match the great dramatic abilities that he already showed off in Room. This is simply an enjoyable film to watch, and it will put a smile on your face as well as making you laugh out loud a few times.

The Blu-ray also includes an alright selection of bonus material, starting with an unrated alternate ending and eleven deleted and extended scenes (Turtle vs. Tortoise, Benji Don’t Like That, Customer Service, Ball Pit Shenanigans, Tracking Molly, Stealing a Glance, Upsell Fail, Max Explodes, Best Friends, Traffic Jam, and First Kiss Heartbreak), most of which aren’t missed in the final film.

This is followed by a collection of six short featurettes (Boys For Real, Welcome to Vancouver, A Fine Line, Ask Your Parents, Bad Girls, and Guest Stars), a pretty amusing gag reel, and a commentary track featuring director/co-writer Gene Stupnitsky and producer/co-writer Lee Eisenberg. The combo pack also comes with a regular DVD and a digital copy of the film.

Good Boys is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 89 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: November 12th, 2019

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