Potty-and-stoner humor doesn't mix well with children, and most of us know that. Nonetheless, I went and saw "Good Boys" anyway (I get paid to see them, so don't condemn me just yet).
I'll have to admit the trailers looked like a lot of fun, but when the whole movie is just one big stoner/potty humor joke, replacing James Franco, Seth Rogan and Danny McBride with three 12-year-olds, it's not really avant-garde or even creepy, it's just plain stupid.
Rookie movie director Gene Stupnitsky ("The Office) gets an atta-boy for trying something new, and I am at the top of the list of movie-goers (and critics) who are constantly complaining about remakes, sequels and re-imaginings. But this one didn't work.
There have been dozens of teen (and a few tween) "friends forever" movies - "The Goonies" and "Stand By Me" being two of the best - and that situation makes for good stories, but I could not get past the kids' throwing F-bombs all over the scenery, and the adult subject matter (which might have been pretty hilarious around adult actors) that was constantly used in the plot.
I'm sure that young kids, in real life, are much more mature now than when I was growing up, but I just couldn't enjoy a movie where the kids talked like old Marine veterans.
The actors, themselves, were kind of fun, with the lead, Max, played by Jacob Tremblay ("Pete the Cat," "The Twilight Zone," "Shut In") doing well, although at times, he let his perfect "child star" qualities get away from him.
Keith L. Williams ("The Last Man on Earth," "Teachers," "The Goldbergs") as Lucas, played the funny guy, and he was wonderful.
As Thor, Brady Noon ("Boardwalk Empire") plays the adventurous bad boy, who is somewhat "all talk/no action," but is still a great little performance.
The boys' adversaries, played by Molly Gordon ("I Am Sam," "Animal Kingdom," "Booksmart") as Hannah and Midori Francis ("Ocean's Eight," "South Mountain," "Gotham") as Lily, were also a lot of fun.
The movie just seems to have so many inconsistencies, with the kids seemingly wandering through a world of sex and drugs, oblivious to both, but still going to an unsupervised party at age 12.
If the parents were all THAT liberal, the boys would have been more aware of the real world, whether by tripping over some of the physical props and/or Googling anything that they were curious about.
The little sister even had to enlighten them about an adult toy near the end of the movie. The LITTLE sister!
"Good Boys" looked good when the Powers That Be were selling it to me, but I should have suspected something was up when it was delivered in a "plain brown wrapper."
Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.