TL;DR – While it is not doing anything ground-breaking, strong animation and voice casting means that this was a blast from start to finish.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
The Bad Guys Review –
If there is one genre of film that I typically enjoy, it is a good heist film. I love the setup, the planning, the twists, the betrayals, and the score at the end. I don’t mind if you are going for a hard heist film or a more loosey-goosey affair. So, I like my Ocean’s 11 and my Ocean’s 13. Well, when I was invited to a screening of a new animated heist film based on a beloved children’s book, I had a feeling I was going to have a good time, and I was right.
So to set the scene, we open with a heist in progress as Mr Wolf (Sam Rockwell) introduces us to himself, and as the car chase continues, the rest of the crew. We have Mr Snake (Marc Maron), a safecracker. Mr Piranha (Anthony Ramos), the muscle. Mr Shark (Craig Robinson), a master of disguise, and Ms Tarantula (Awkwafina), the tech wizard. As they celebrate Mr Snake’s birthday, they wonder what their next heist could be? Maybe the Golden Dolphin, the most un-stealable treasure in the city.
The first way that The Bad Guys sets itself apart is with its animation style that perfectly encapsulates the movie’s energy. It combines a painted, almost water-colour style combined with more 3d models. It is an odd combination, but it creates a vibrant style that allows you to move in and out of the frantic action scenes with ease. It reminded me of The Mitchells vs. The Machines in its intensity, even if it is a very different style. IT is a film that knows when to go at a breakneck speed and when you need to stand in the moment and enjoy the awesome.
This animation style also helps characterise all the leads as they romp across the screen. Each of them feels like completely realised entities with their own personalities, and you see that in both the vocal performances and the animation. The cast is primarily comedic actors, which can be a bit hit-and-miss, but they all nail their characters. Watching Sam Rockwell and Marc Maron bounce off each other while one is a wolf and the other is a snake is just a delight to watch. As was every moment, they let Craig Robinson and Richard Ayoade eat the scenery. There is an absurdity that no person notices when they are in disguise that is a delight to see. This is not the first time Awkwafina has been in a heist film, and you can feel her getting right back into that Ocean’s 8 grooves. To be honest, I didn’t even mind that Anthony Ramos mainly was there for fart jokes because he is so much fun.
When it comes to the story, well, it is not charting any new ground, but then I don’t think it needs to. The basic premise is that the team gets arrested, and then they pretend to be good to pull off an even bigger crime. This setup allows for a lot of internal and external conflict, as the team reckons with the idea of being the bad guys. So while I would not say that it is Wreck-It Ralph but with a heist, that is also sort of the realm we are in. I also liked that in this film, some guinea pigs are Richard Ayoade, and then others are just normal guinea pigs, and at no point does the film try to explain that. ‘This is just the world we live in, so deal with it’ is a power move, and I respect it. I think you will see a couple of twists coming a mile away, but they will probably land harder for the target audience. Also, it is just fun, from start to finish, so even if you can see where this film is going, it doesn’t matter because you are having a ball.
In the end, do we recommend The Bad Guys? Absolutely. From the moment Mr Wolf exploded onto the screen until the credits rolled, I was having a blast. I liked the characters, the animation, and the story, and I think many people will have fin with this film too. If you liked The Bad Guys, I would also recommend to you The Croods 2.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched The Bad Guys?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Bad Guys
Directed by – Pierre Perifel
Screenplay by – Etan Cohen
Based on – The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
Music by – Daniel Pemberton
Edited by – John Venzon
Production/Distribution Companies – DreamWorks Animation, Scholastic Entertainment & Universal Pictures
Starring – Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson, Awkwafina, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Lilly Singh & Alex Borstein
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: na; Germany: 6; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: U; United States: PG