THE GOOD VER­SION OF SU­PER­BAD

South Western Times - - Entertainm­ent -

Good Boys Rated: MA15+ Re­view: Ben O’Shea Rat­ing: 6/10

Good Boys might not be the pre­quel to 2007’s Su­per­bad, but for all in­tents and pur­poses, it ba­si­cally is. Su­per­bad, which was writ­ten by Seth Ro­gen and starred a young Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, was a day-in-the-life tale of 17-year-old high school boys, who get into all sorts of trou­ble on the way to a grad­u­a­tion party where they hope to lose their vir­gin­ity.

In Good Boys, a movie pro­duced by Ro­gen but di­rected and co-writ­ten by Gene Stup­nit­sky, a for­mer writer on the US ver­sion of The Of­fice, 17-year-old boys are re­placed by 12-year-olds, and the endgame is not the hor­i­zon­tal lam­bada but a far more in­no­cent round of spin the bot­tle.

Other than that, the two movies are re­mark­ably sim­i­lar.

Not that this is nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing, mind you, be­cause Su­per­bad was a crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial hit and re­mains one of the great high school movies of all time. Good Boys won’t hit those heights, how­ever, de­spite solid per­for­mances from young leads Ja­cob Trem­blay (star of Room and Won­der), Keith L. Wil­liams, and Brady Noon, who play sixth-grade besties, Max, Lu­cas and Thor.

When the lads get in­vited to a cool kids’ “kiss­ing party”, Max sees it as an op­por­tu­nity to plant one on Brixlee, the love of his young life, but an ill-con­ceived plan to gain kiss­ing in­tel by spy­ing on a neigh­bour sparks a war with two teenage girls.

Mean­while, bul­ly­ing has Thor ques­tion­ing his dreams of be­ing a singer and Lu­cas finds him­self nav­i­gat­ing un­charted waters after his par­ents an­nounce they are get­ting a di­vorce.

Will mak­ing it to the party bring them closer to­gether or tear the Bean Bag Boys apart?

Or, as it is in Su­per­bad, will the jour­ney teach us that it is OK for friend­ships to evolve?

Some peo­ple might find it a lit­tle chal­leng­ing to hear pre-teens swear like dock work­ers and mis­take sex toys for mar­tial arts equip­ment but this is not the film’s short­com­ing.

Iron­i­cally, Good Boys is ul­ti­mately un­done be­cause it is too good, not too bad.

The script of Stup­nit­sky and Lee Eisen­berg is sur­pris­ingly sweet, and of­ten poignant, with the boys’ ex­cite­ment over swig­ging a sip of beer and hav­ing a first kiss ring­ing true to ex­pe­ri­ences most of us had.

And the gags are funny, even if there are not nearly enough of them. But, as a re­sult, you end up with an au­then­tic re­pro­duc­tion of the hu­man experience, circa 12 years of age, in a movie that is un­fit for 12-year-olds.

In the end, Stup­nit­sky’s film is so Su­per­bad, it’s good, but it sure ain’t great.

Good Boys is good, but not great, star­ring Brady Noon, Ja­cob Trem­blay and Keith L. Wil­liams.

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