"Good Boys" finds right mix of raunch and heart

Jacob Tremblay (from left), Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams appear in a scene from “Good Boys.”

For anyone who has ever wondered what "Superbad" would look like with middle school protagonists, your questions have been answered with "Good Boys" – an inappropriate, yet consistently funny comedy about three middle school friends.

While "Good Boys" may not reach the same level as "Superbad" – both films were produced by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg – it still finds a nice balance between raunch and sweetness that makes it well worth your time.

"Good Boys" tells the story of Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon), the best of friends who refer to themselves as the Bean Bag Boys trying to navigate through the opening weeks of sixth grade.

Max is invited to a kissing party but goes into a state of panic when he realizes he doesn't know how to kiss.

Thor and Lucas convince Max to use his dad's drone to spy on his neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon), but the plan backfires when the drone gets destroyed.

Desperate to replace it before his dad finds out, Max and his friends ditch school and set out on a quest to get a new drone – only to get mixed up in a series of crazy events involving stolen drugs, angry frat boys and even angrier teenage girls.

Director Gene Stupnitsky, who co-wrote the film with Lee Eisenberg, doesn't hold back anything and fills the film with plenty of very R-rated outrageous moments. There are so many raunchy gags that a lot of times it feels like perhaps Stupnitsky and Eisenberg are just throwing everything against a wall to see what sticks (fortunately, most of the comic set pieces work).

But it's not the laughs that prove to be the strength of "Good Boys," it's the heart – as the co-writers have a genuine affection for the boys that allows the audience to not get too caught up in how inappropriate most of it is.

It helps that the three leads are so adorable. Tremblay has been mostly known for more dramatic stuff like "Room" and "Wonder," but "Good Boys" allows him to show a lighter side where he is clearly having a lot of fun.

Noon is enjoyable as the very talkative member of the group full of insecurities, but Williams is the scene stealer – playing his at times too-truthful character to perfection.

Their chemistry makes the moments between the raunch work because you really believe these three boys have been lifelong friends. They bring an unexpected sweetness to something that is pretty filthy and will likely offend a lot of people.

"Good Boys" may be a little messy at times, but there is still enough here to make it a lot more fun – with a little bit more substance – than I was expecting.

– To get Micheal Compton’s review of “Blinded by the Light” visit his blog at bgdailynews.com/blogs/reel_to_reel or follow him on Twitter @mcompton428. Email him at mcompton@bgdailynews.com.


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