WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Good Boys, in theaters now.
Gene Stupnitsky's Good Boys isn't your typical coming-of-age story -- a genre that usually looks back at the warmest memories of young teen adolescence. It's downright obscene, upping the ante even more than movies like Superbad as it goes through the hilarious adventures of Max (Jacob Tremblay) who is trying to replace his dad's stolen drone, along with his friends Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams).
This is all to ensure they don't get grounded and can attend a party with the popular kids, and as much as it feels exactly like what you'd expect from producers Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, it's actually the closest thing we'd ever get to a live-action action adaptation of South Park.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker's animated series has been one of Comedy Central's flagship titles since 1997, waxing on about the little Colorado town with a bunch of kids navigating high-school, puberty, girls, bullying and of course, upping their social status.
It also has an infamous reputation for being very provocative with its smattering of supernatural beings, religious deities, extraterrestrials, social issues and lately, Donald Trump's politics acting as the drivers in the narrative, which often ends with the kids making sociopolitical statements on the state of the world at the end of each episode.
Now, while politics don't really factor into Good Boys, everything else Parker and Stone's cartoon kids experience, Max and Co. also go through in a series of laugh-out-loud moments. What really makes them feel like South Park come to life, though, isn't just the setting but the characters in these scenarios.
Max is an innocent kid who loves to push the envelope once he sees a benefit, similar to Kyle. He doesn't care how much trouble they get in, he just has to replace the drone and get to the party so he can kiss the girl he loves.
Thor, on the other hand, is constantly haranguing him and cursing at every turn, coming off bratty, snotty and selfish like Cartman. Plus, smuggling a beer in his pants out of a convenience store and trashing Max's home to stage a break in so they don't get in trouble for destroying Max's dad's drone is exactly the kind of crazy plan Cartman would come up with.
Now, there's no Kenny -- because as darkly humorous as this the film is, there's no killing kids -- but Lucas adequately fills in by enduring multiple injuries -- including an awful dislocated arm when they escape some girls who they stole drugs from.
Lucas' sense of logic throughout even rings similar to Stan, as he doesn't like breaking the law and comes from a rational place all the time, especially when it comes to advising against the thought of swigging beer at such a young age.
The journey they go on is pretty much a Wednesday night episode of South Park: kids break a drone after trying to spy on what they think are lesbians kissing; kids then steal drugs and try to ransom it back for a drone; kids deal with possible sex offenders later on as they try to sell toys to make money for a new drone, and lastly, kids raiding a frat house to score more drugs to sell and end up shooting up the guys with a paint-gun in their mid-section (very similar to Butters and Cartman in Season's 12 "The China Problem").
Basically, every precarious situation they're placed in, they weasel out without really understanding the gravity of what just happened as they're simply trying to get to the girls, who feel a lot like Wendy's innocent crew in the cartoon.
It's a series of unfortunate events where parents and consequences don't seem to matter as much, where pint-sized gangsters and scooter gangs (paying homage to the older biker gang in South Park's high school) run the show, parents' sex toys are mistaken for your average toys, running across freeways isn't considered a hazard, and "spin the bottle" makes you or breaks you as a social pariah.
Ultimately, all Good Boys is missing is a snowy Colorado backdrop and an array of kooky teachers, but it's got everything else to be South Park in the flesh.
Good Boys, directed by Gene Stupnitsky, stars Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, Keith L. Williams, Will Forte and Molly Gordon, is in theaters now.