Published article: How Good Boys is challenging cinema’s toxic masculinity


August is a month in which Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was momentarily the biggest movie in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie while having very limited exposure to the Fast & Furious films, because it embraced its ridiculousness with a tongue very much planted in cheek. I thought The Rock and Jason Statham were in on the joke and that the presentations of masculinity in Hobbs & Shaw were caricatures of what we expect them to be.

But then stories started swirling around after its release that its stars have a say over how their manliness is presented. Punches are being counted and representatives making sure their clients don’t lose fights on screen. What this unfortunately did was completely reinforce the toxic masculinity I initially hoped was almost being parodied by the movie.

So this led me to ask myself, ‘where are the films that are an antidote to this testosterone-fuelled action?’ If that was a question swirling around your brain, you’ll be pleased to know you didn’t have to wait long or look far. Just two weeks after Hobbs & Shaw’s release, in a quiet Saturday showing, I saw a movie that’s been described as Superbad with kids.

I didn’t go to see Good Boys thinking I was going to find something really refreshing and certifiably progressive but if we live in a world where The Rock can stop a helicopter taking off with his bare hands, then I guess anything’s possible.

Overall Good Boys is a pretty funny movie which great performances from its three pint-sized tween protagonists played by Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon. But what struck me most about it wasn’t the outlandish storyline or the fact that it’s essentially 90 minutes of children swearing. It was the movie’s presentation of male characters who respect women, aren’t afraid to show their emotions and talk more than once about consent.

Read the full article on Flickering Myth

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