Have you ever felt being good is simply no fun whatsoever? Well, perhaps you will relate to this misunderstood team of criminals- a gang of animals known as The Bad Guys! They’re well known for causing chaos and havoc within the city, and are wanted for conducting various heists, robberies, and the list goes on! The team consists of Wolf (Sam Rockwell), Snake (Marc Maron), Tarantula (Awkwafina), Shark (Craig Robinson) and Piranha (Anthony Ramos). As a team, they work perfectly together, each with a unique set of skills. Their reputation is that nothing is impossible for them.
After completing a successful robbery, the team decide to make their next heist more about an act of personal revenge on the city’s governess. She has made personal jabs about The Bad Guys on national television- big mistake! But while the next heist is in motion, Wolf has an unexpected and incredible experience. By a stroke of luck, he saves a random stranger and receives kind words for his deed. In this moment, Wolf’s tail begins to wag with excitement, and he discovers new feelings he’s never felt before. Perhaps this is a positive feeling from being good?
Not only does Wolf have an unexpected moment, but the team also fail to complete the heist and get caught! Instead of going to jail, The Bad Guys manage to strike up the ultimate deal to prove that they can be good instead of bad. But for a team that’s been so bad for so long, it won’t be an easy task to prove to the city and the people who live within it that they can be good, even if they are faking it. Will the notorious Bad Guys go straight or stay Bad Guys for life?
The Bad Guys is a fun animated film that feels like a storybook has come to life on the big screen. Based on the popular children’s books by Aaron Blabey, the film includes strong animation and visuals. These visuals feel slightly different to other animations by the film studio DreamWorks, and feel more as though high-quality drawings have come to life. From the opening scene, it instantly felt inspired by Quentin Tarantino films or perhaps heist movies such as Oceans 11. I appreciated and enjoyed the film’s general look and style right from the opening scene. It’s highly colourful, creative, and, again, fun.
As for the plot, The Bad Guys feels more aimed at a younger audience and includes positive themes. Thankfully, there are also some gags and references here for the adult audiences, but adults won’t be shocked by the twists and major reveals. While some elements do feel familiar, I still found myself enjoying all that was on show thanks to the leading characters and the excellent voice cast.
The leading characters within The Bad Guys are all likeable, witty, and humorous. The leading characters are all different in personality, skills, and style of humour. Sam Rockwell’s voice work as Wolf was tremendous, and I would say his voice work here is perfection for the character.
Their interactions with each other are enjoyable, and the journey they go on attempting to become good is a great journey to see. I was surprised to find our leads were also able to deliver touching moments. Even in moments where they share about how they were born bad because they look scary, we hear heartfelt comments about how they felt they had no choice other than to become bad. I’m confident parents will appreciate watching moments like these, and a younger audience will gain encouragement and share a laugh or two along the way.
Overall, being bad might seem fun, but watching a group of cheeky animals trying to go straight is even more entertaining. The film has strong and creative animation and a plot that contains touching and positive messages for a younger crowd. The Bad Guys is definitely a good time for a younger crowd, plus there are plenty of gags and references for an adult audience too. Sure, some plot details and reveals may seem either familiar or unnecessary to adult audiences. However, as an animation film, it’s still loaded with good themes, great characters, and fun voice work, and I’m confident this film won’t disappoint its viewers.