The Bad Guys (2022)

Movie Title: The Bad Guys

Year Released: 2022

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 40m

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Family

Director: Pierre Perifel

Writer: Etan Cohen (based on the books by Aaron Blabey)

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Alex Borstein, Lilly Singh, Barbara Goodson, Dina Morrone,

Review: Wolf (Sam Rockwell), Snake (Marc Maron), Tarantula (Awkwafina), Shark (Craig Robinson), and Piranha (Anthony Ramos), are a criminal team known as The Bad Guys. After their latest caper backfires they avoid jail-time by getting reformed and becoming good guys under the watchful eye of Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade). But can they keep on the straight and narrow or will they go back to their old ways because sometimes it's good to be bad.

I saw a preview for The Bad Guys with my kids and we all agreed that we had to see this opening weekend... and we did. This animated feature from Dreamworks looked funny, action-packed, and of a top-tier quality that set it apart from so many other productions, but unfortunately it was a rather disappointing movie-going experience.

The biggest problem with The Bad Guys was that it was so incredibly predictable. There weren't really any surprises. In a movie dealing with fun-loving criminals trying to cleverly separate unsuspecting people from their jewels, money, and other prized valuables, it wasn't very smart or clever. I think this is another classic case of wasted potential. Soon after the entertaining opening introducing the audience to these colorful criminal characters it was like the movie went on auto-pilot. The criminals get cocky, plan elaborate heist, heist goes bad, bad guys go good, good guy that turned bad guys good is actually bad, bad guys that are now good guys get framed and must clear their name to show that they aren't as bad as everyone thinks they are. Classic story, right? But even what was supposed to be a surprising revelation you could see coming a mile away; I will not spoil any of those since the movie just came out.

I'm a huge fan of both Sam Rockwell and Marc Maron, and the really have fun with there characters. Rockwell's Wolf even gets to "cut a rug" using some of Rockwell's classic dance moves. That was fun! And Maron is great as the cranky snake that seems like the outsider in his own gang. The rest of the cast has fun, too, but other than Piranha's gas problem and Shark being a unbelievable master of disguise, they don't add too much to the movie.

And another thing that surprised me was that most of the jokes kind of fell flat. There we long stretches of silence among the audience during the runtime. Not a good sign for a comedy.

The Bad Guys was an average animated family film. Maybe I had my critic hat on the whole time I was watching. It's possible I was right, initially, but I'd be willing to give it a re-watch at some point. So for now I guess The Bad Guys equals okay time.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The $100 bills in the movie feature the face of Margie Cohn, President of Dreamworks.


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