Good guys who do bad things – that’s what the trailer announces GOOD BOYS but it’s not that bad after all. Nevertheless, the new Seth Rogen production has its heart in the right place. We reveal more about this in our review.
Lucas (Keith L. Williams), Thor (Brady Noon) and Max (Jacob Tremblay) end up on dubious websites…
The plot summary
It all starts so harmlessly: The three friends Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) try to spy on their neighbor girls (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis) using a drone in order to gain experience. But the girls catch them and collect the flying robot. Now the boys are doing everything they can to get the expensive drone back, no matter what the cost. So the three of them skip school and don’t miss a single misstep, no matter how thoughtless, on their desperate mission. They get into a student paintball match, accidentally steal some drugs, and it doesn’t take long before both the cops and a bunch of scary teenage girls are on their trail.
Good Boys Movie Meaning & ending
In the trailer for Gene Stupnitsky’s comedy “Good Boys”, producer and advertising face Seth Rogen (“The Three Kings”) tells the three high-profile protagonists not to watch the trailer for their own film. It contains things that kids their age aren’t allowed to see. And this despite the fact that Jacob Tremblay (“Space”) , Brady Noon (“Boardwalk Empire”) and Keith L. Williams (“The Last Man on Earth”) only played all the scenes shown in the film a few months ago. This is a funny advertising gimmick. There’s something to be said about letting children do and say things that (at least in prudish America) should only be done and said by adults. In this country, however, the FSK doesn’t exactly play into the hands of the responsible distributor, Universal: With a release from 12, the film has the opportunity to appeal to a much broader audience, but it also loses a little of its advertising effect. Because: The boys shown in the film are all around twelve years old themselves, so they should have watched the film themselves by now. It also says a lot about how badass “Good Boys” really is. Although here one of the boys is playing with a dildo and there is a wide-eyed look at porn sites, but ultimately the comedy – especially when it comes to the very family-friendly message – is much more harmless than it sells itself. This puts her perfectly in line with Seth Rogen’s veiled, progressive film vita.
Hannah and Lilly (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis) want Max and his friends to give them something in return for the drone…
In terms of its premise, “Good Boys” sounds as if it were a number revue: the boys go from one mess to the next and the whole thing is held together by a rudimentary thread. But this is not the case. “Good Boys” has an admittedly not particularly complex story. The creators play up the supposed unique selling point of the vulgar kiddies in passing. Measured by comedy standards, the story is easily enough to keep the viewer engaged for almost ninety minutes: The friends have to free a kidnapped drone from the clutches of two good-looking teenage girls before Max’s father (Will Forte) has to deal with the loss of the expensive device noticed. Of course, the subsequent hunt for the drone has something slightly episodic about it: it shows how the kids desperately try to get across a busy highway unscathed. They also meet a strange sex doll lover and their first visit to an online porn site turns into one of the most amusing scenes in the film. But the overarching theme of “growing up” makes “Good Boys” much more of a coming-of-age film than a flat comedy and it is also what holds the film together narratively. You never get the feeling that you’re just being presented with gags for the sake of gags. Instead, they are firmly anchored in the developments of the three protagonists.
Of course, there is something inherently amusing about watching three boys surf a sex website for the very first time and they are initially quite irritated by what they see there. In such moments, the script by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (who also wrote the script for “Bad Teacher” together) always sides with the characters, never laughing at them, but with them and therefore also a little at themselves the age. Despite being firmly rooted in the here and now, “Good Boys” has a sincere nostalgia. Not in relation to a specific decade, as you can currently see again and again in fantastic cinema. No, instead it is rather being a child itself that Seth Rogen and his team celebrate and, from this perspective, tell a story of friendship and cohesion, which they then complement with a mature message about lived individualism and tolerance. According to this Trojan Horse methodology – first silly sex gags are made, then women’s equality is later preached on the basis of them – a film like “Good Boys” is much more likely to succeed in conveying its messages to the viewer than films that present these messages openly carry yourself here. After the “Bad Neighbors” films (the second part in particular was one of the best #MeToo agitators there is long before the topic reached the general public), the supposedly dirty animated film that actually puts the topic of equality above all else “Sausage Party” and the comedy hit “Long Shot,” “Good Boys” is further proof that Rogen and his crew are only interested in clumsy slapstick on the surface. Many of his films contain criticism of prevailing socio-political problems and hot spots.
This may seem old-fashioned here and there. The fact that Hollywood films focus on traditional family values and, when in doubt, speak out against anarchy is a point of criticism that comes up again and again in the case of US comedies (especially in Christmas films). But as usual, producer Seth Rogen and his team of creatives manage not to give away either narrative approach. Over the course of the story, the characters are repeatedly confronted with the consequences of their actions, which leads to one or two lessons about their behavior towards other people. But in “Good Boys” the nonsense isn’t just allowed to happen, it’s also allowed to continue until the end. As a result, the creators never run the risk of falling into an out-of-date “boys will be boys” attitude and still allow their pubescent boys to have the weaknesses that they need to learn from mistakes. This leads to great gags, as Gene Stupnitsky proves to be an excellent observer of situational comedy and he guides his young actors optimally. Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams work together to achieve top comedic performances (a lot of it seems improvised), but they are also convincing in the few quiet moments alone. Everyone has at least one of them, which gives “Good Boys” a real punch towards the end.
Conclusion: “Good Boys” is not nearly as rough as the marketing advertised, but it works even better as a shameless and emotional comedy with heart.
“Good Boys” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from August 22nd.