There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon) have begun a new year of school. The three have been close friends since kindergarten and they refer to their group as “The Bean Bag Boys” because they hang out on bean bags. With a new year of school starting, the members of the group want to build their reputations as “cool” kids, and Max also wants to kiss a girl that he has a crush on. However, their goals will not be easy ones to accomplish.
None of the boys know how to kiss a girl, so they decide to spy on a couple of teenagers. This mission goes horribly wrong, and the boys find themselves in quite a bit of trouble. They are on a quest to become cool kids, fix their mistake before they get caught, and they are on the run from the teenagers that they have pissed off. Tensions rise in their friendship, and although they started this journey together, it may cause them to drift apart.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
The Bean Bag Boys (+6pts)
The Comedy (+5pts)
The Girls & The Plot (-4pts)
Kid Problems (+5pts)
The Crying, The Swearing, and The Ending (-3pts)
Pro: The Bean Bag Boys (+6pts)
In my opinion, the best things about this movie were the Bean Bag Boys and the actors in these roles. The characters each brought a different personality to this group, but they all complemented each other really well. The actors had really great chemistry together, which made me feel like these kids had actually been close friends for their entire lives. The filmmakers did not setup the characters’ pasts, but their friendship was setup well and their unique personalities did the rest.
Max was the main character who was primarily responsible for driving the plot forward, but do not mistake that to mean that the character did not have his fair share of comedic moments. Jacob Tremblay is a very talented young actor, and he seemed to have no problem taking the lead role. He had good comedic timing, he kept me entertained, and he did a great job with the drama whenever the character needed that from him. Lucas and Thor were the two secondary characters whose primary focus was delivering comedy. Thor was desperate to become a cool kid, while Lucas was focused on doing the right thing and maintaining the group's friendship, and they both had plenty of comedic moments. Together, this was a fun group of characters played by actors who each played their respective parts well.
Con: Random (-2pts)
The beginning of the movie felt like it needed some work. The editing felt really choppy, which made the beginning of the movie feel like a random sequence of events. These scenes did not feel connected in a smooth, natural way. It gave me the impression that the movie was originally longer, but the filmmakers had to cut some scenes out to keep the runtime down. It felt like they cut out a bunch of scenes from the beginning of the movie, and they did not have the time to reshoot and make the beginning flow coherently again.
Pro: The Comedy (+5pts)
The comedy mostly worked, but I did not have any laugh-out-loud moments. I was never in hysterical laughter, or anything close to that, but the movie kept me at least laughing mildly or chuckling from beginning to end. Most of the comedy came from the the types of problems that these kids had to deal with and their childlike perspective of the adult things and problems that they encountered, but I will get into that later in this review. The rest of the comedy came from the craziness that ensued throughout this story and the different situations that the kids found themselves in. Again, there were no big, laugh-out-loud moments for me, but the comedy was effective in the sense that I was at least moderately amused while the movie was playing.
Con: The Girls & The Plot (-4pts)
These two issues were somewhat unrelated, but I thought both needed some more attention from the writers. First, the girls’ actions and their motivations seemed a bit far fetched. I get what the girls’ motivations were. They were after something, but the lengths that they were willing to go to seemed exaggerated and unrealistically irrational. Then, they all of a sudden became more rational when it was convenient for the writers for them to be. I thought these characters were important for the story, but I thought that the writers needed to give these characters more attention.
The plot of this movie also seemed a bit incoherent. Without giving anything away, there was a lot that these characters were trying to do, and it was hard to tell what the main story was or how each of the side storylines were relevant. They were trying to get beer so they could be cool kids, they were trying to get Max and his crush together, and they were trying to get a drone. Because these all felt like randomly connected goals, and there was no clear primary goal, the story did not feel like it built toward anything, which made it hard to get truly invested in what was happening.
Pro: Kid Problems (+5pts)
A lot of this movie’s funnier moments came from the types of problems that these kids faced, as well as their childlike perspective of adult things. The kids’ beer challenge, their fear of kissing, and the incredible journey they had to embark on just to get to the mall were great examples of the types of problems these kids faced throughout the movie. These things were so funny, because these “issues” are nothing that any adult—or even teenager—would have any difficulty with, but they were significant challenges for these kids. This movie had the opportunity to present familiar issues and things, but from the perspective of a child. It was funny to see easy obstacles for adults become massive obstacles for these kids, and it was funny to see how these kids thought of adult things. From tampons, to adult toys, and even french kissing, these kids had very childlike and naive views of some pretty adult things. Between each of the major plot points, these characters' naive perspectives of adult things added plenty of comedic moments to keep me watching.
Con: The Crying, The Swearing, and The Ending (-3pts)
The three kids went on quite the emotional journey, and the characters cried in a few scenes. Now I have seen Jacob Tremblay cry in other movies, and I have seen him do it well, so I know he is capable of it. However, the filmmakers seemed to prefer fake crying where they add water or wax to the kids’ faces and have the young actors pretend to cry. Maybe the intent was for this fake crying to be funny, but it was not and it just looked like cheap film-making. Then there was the swearing, which had a place in this type of movie, but the frequency of it made it an overused joke. It felt as if the filmmakers had the kids swear a few times, found it funny, then they threw it in the movie as many times as humanly possible, to the point where the joke became stale.
The movie then ended in a way that seemed to undermine everything that the kids were working toward. I do not want to give anything away, but it felt like the main story had its conclusion, then the filmmakers crammed this movie’s sequel into the last few scenes of the movie. In other words, the story ended. Then the movie sort of fast forwarded through a bunch of major things in a montage sequence. These things were not relevant to the story that led up to this climax, and they would have been better suited for a sequel if one even happened. Either way, I thought these things should have been left out of this movie, as it sort of undermined the whole movie, and made everything I just watched feel pointless.
Grade: B- (82pts)
A group of kids facing adult themes and issues was a fun idea to see explored. Some of the swearing definitely felt forced, and the crying felt very fake, but the comedy mostly worked. Were there any big laugh-out-loud moments? Not for me personally—although some moments may hit you harder than they did me—but the movie definitely kept me amused throughout.
The group of main characters were setup well, and their unique personalities complemented each other. The comedy that worked best was the types of problems that the kids faced, as well as how seriously they treated those problems, and the kids’ innocent and naive perspective of the adult things they encountered along the way. Unfortunately, the plot felt messy, and the ending seemed to make the whole thing feel pointless. I disagree with the reviews that have hated on this movie, but I also disagree with the reviews that said the movie was amazing. I thought it was only moderately entertaining at best, as there were some funny moments, but it certainly had its issues.
Movie Whisperer from Moreton Bay, Queensland on August 27, 2019:
Can't wait to see this