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film review

Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon and Jacob Tremblay in Good Boys.Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures

  • Good Boys
  • Directed by: Gene Stupnitsky
  • Written by: Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg
  • Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon
  • Classification: 18A; 89 minutes

Rating:

2.5 out of 4 stars

Your enjoyment of Good Boys will depend on how much you’ve already seen of Good Boys.

If, for instance, you’ve watched 2007′s Superbad, then you’ve already seen much of the same friends-forever themes and ultra-horny comedy that Good Boys mines, albeit aged down about five years here to Grade 6. And if you’ve seen any of the many trailers for Good Boys that have been sprinkling the internet since March, then you’ve already seen most of the film’s best jokes, from young star Jacob Tremblay’s theory on what a nymphomaniac is (“someone who has sex on land and sea”) to a not-so-innocent Googling session between Tremblay and friends exploring the mysteries of pornography (“No one kissed,” one tweenage boy sighs. “Well, not on the mouth,” another replies).

The few parts of director Gene Stupnitsky’s film that feel new, then, don’t feel that new at all, from the ultra-shaggy plot to the gross-out gags that misunderstand the power that repetition might hold (one line about the smell of anal beads is fine; two is pushing it).

Still, Tremblay works hard to shake off any precocious typecasting that previously caged him, and his fellow lead and lewd costars Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams charm with distressing ease. All that, and you get a pretty good and funny cover of Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love Is, set to a crude children’s reworking of the musical Rock of Ages, featuring pixie-stick-powder cocaine. And no one, certainly, has ever seen that before.

Good Boys opens Aug. 16