I was close to walking out of “Good Boys,” the raunchy supposed comedy about a trio of twelve year old friends. Trapped in the theater made me restless because it didn’t take long to realize how sloppy, indifferent, unfunny, and charmless the film is. It has such a low energy that anything, even strenuous housework, sounds better than being forced to watch the majority of this film. The only things that saved this movie for me are the fun 80s themed musical number and the thoughtful message about growing up and apart, but both came far too late.
Focusing on raunchy situations rather than inspired gags, the film tells the very loose story of best buddies Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and their quest to make it to a tween kissing party. A series of dumb misadventures befall them along the way, from destroying an expensive drone to skipping school to stealing illegal drugs to running from two determined older girls (Molly Gordon, Midori Francis), but nothing is interesting enough to carry an entire story. The film isn’t offensive, at least to me, but having kids spew profanity is not an acceptable substitute for humor.
Just when you think a scene is going to be good, like an encounter with an internet pervert or a run-in with a cop at a convenience store, the potentially funny situation is squandered and left laugh-free. It’s apathetic, lazy, and frankly inexcusable when you consider the talent that had a hand in creating this movie.
Even worse is that the characters are little jerks, three boys I had zero interest in. I didn’t care about them, didn’t believe their friendship, and had such a disconnect that I would’ve been just fine not knowing how their story ultimately came to an end. I hate to criticize child actors, but there’s nothing else to call the performances other than dreadful. The overacting and stiff line reading is super distracting, and it truly feels like amateur hour. Maybe these kids will have a future in the film industry, but this will not be one of the better projects to paste in their resume.
My mantra is that nothing is worse than an unfunny comedy, and “Good Boys” is one of the most painful, strained excuses for one that I’ve seen in years. When there are just one or two genuine laugh-worthy moments, you know it’s a colossal dud. The folks both in front of and behind the camera didn’t care enough to work hard at making audiences chuckle so in turn, audiences shouldn’t care enough to shell out good money to watch it.