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The Bad Guys (2022)


Released:  Friday, April 22, 2022  
Length:  100 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Rating: The Bad Guys is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may not be suitable for children.

This film contains a scene during or after the credits.

The Bad Guys Synopsis

The Bad Guys © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Nobody has ever failed so hard at trying to be good as The Bad Guys.

In the new action-comedy from DreamWorks Animation, based on the New York Times best-selling book series, a crackerjack criminal crew of animal outlaws are about to attempt their most challenging con yet—becoming model citizens.

Never have there been five friends as infamous as The Bad Guys—dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf (Academy Award® winner Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake (Marc Maron, GLOW), chill master-of-disguise Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine franchise), short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos, In the Heights) and sharp-tongued expert hacker Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians), aka “Webs.”

But when, after years of countless heists and being the world’s most-wanted villains, the gang is finally caught, Mr. Wolf brokers a deal (that he has no intention of keeping) to save them all from prison: The Bad Guys will go good.

Under the tutelage of their mentor Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade, Paddington 2), an arrogant (but adorable!) guinea pig, The Bad Guys set out to fool the world that they’ve been transformed. Along the way, though, Mr. Wolf begins to suspect that doing good for real may give him what he’s always secretly longed for: acceptance. So when a new villain threatens the city, can Mr. Wolf persuade the rest of the gang to become … The Good Guys?

The film co-stars Zazie Beetz (Joker), Lilly Singh (Bad Moms), and Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

Based on the blockbuster Scholastic book series by Aaron Blabey, The Bad Guys is directed by Pierre Perifel (animator, the Kung Fu Panda films), making his feature-directing debut. The film is produced by Damon Ross (development executive Trolls, The Boss Baby, co-producer Nacho Libre) and Rebecca Huntley (associate producer, The Boss Baby). The executive producers are Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen, and Patrick Hughes.

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The Bad Guys images are © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

See an Advance Screening of THE BAD GUYS in Florida  4/13/2022 3:46 PM EST
Being bad has never looked so good…especially for Dreamworks latest animated feature, THE BAD GUYS.  Based on the blockbuster Scholastic book series by Aaron Blabey, the movie shows what can happen when being bad is good but being good is even better.Dreamworks, in conjunction with FlickDirect, would like to offer some lucky winners one electronic admit-two pass to see an advance screening of THE ...  More>>

The Bad Guys Theatrical Review

The Bad Guys Theatrical Review

It’s that time of year again.  The weather is getting warmer and both students and teachers are counting down the days until summer vacation.  It’s also the time when movie studios start ramping up their summer blockbuster movie offerings, along with all the family-friendly, animated features.  

While we know the big mouse has at least one more animated film being released in the next six months, DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures are releasing their summer kids’ movie this week.  The Bad Guys, starring Sam Rockwell (Confessions of A Dangerous Mind), Marc Maron (Almost Famous), Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Anthony Ramos (Hamilton), and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), etc. mixes mystery, action, and comedy for a movie the whole family will love.

Mr. Wolf (Rockwell) heads up a notorious criminal gang in Los Angeles.  The group, including Snake (Maron), Webs/Tarantula (Awkwafina), Piranha (Ramos), and Shark (Craig Robinson; Hot Tub Time Machine) plan to take a break from their life of crime until they are insulted on television by the new Governor, Diane Foxington (Beetz).  Suddenly Wolf comes up with a plan for the gang’s greatest heist yet – stealing The Golden Dolphin which is to be presented to the philanthropist guinea pig, Professor Rupert Marmalade VI (Richard Ayoade; The Watch). The elusive Dolphin has never successfully been stolen though many have tried.

Making his animated feature film debut, director Pierre Perifel blends a mixture of 2D and 3D animation to give the film a layered feel with quite a bit of textural detail throughout.  He keeps the pace of the film moving even with the twists and turns woven throughout the plot.  He also throws in some humor that both little kids and adults will enjoy.  Based on his first foray into feature film directing, it seems Perifel will have a long career ahead of him.

The cast is terrific, especially Rockwell and Beetz.  Of course, Awkwafina is easily identifiable due to her distinctive voice and her character is so cute I can see stuffed tarantulas on sale shortly.  Ramos lends his vocal talents to Piranha and entertains the audience with an upbeat yet soulful song.  Wolf and Rockwell remind me a little bit of Bradley Cooper in Limitless (the cleaned-up version, not the struggling author persona he portrays at the beginning of the film).

The music is also a character in this movie, with a jazzy vibe woven throughout the soundtrack and vocal performances. It helps set the tone of the film and remains in the background throughout.  The smooth feel often associated with jazz music seems to be an almost tangible element in The Bad Guys and oozes its way in between the beats seeping into the characters, especially Wolf.  Based on this, one might have a pre-conceived notion the movie would be seedy, murky, and muted; however, this simply isn’t the case as colors pop off the screen inviting viewers inside.

Based on the book series of the same name, The Bad Guys has a great deal to offer but also often falls back on predictable tropes.  Of course, like any good children’s story, there is a lesson to be learned and the bad guys ultimately learn to put they're less than legal skills to good use.

I can see toddlers, preteens, and their parents all enjoying this movie.  There are fun dance moments, a serious mystery to be solved, and some strong character development despite having a mere 100-minute run time. It just goes to show that even a tried and true, the predictable plot can seem fresh and updated with the right mix of cast, crew, music, and animation.

Grade: B+


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  • 6/20/2022 7:18 PM EST

    4K Review

    "A fun family animation with great video, great audio, and fun featurettes!" – Austin PutnamPurchase a copy of The Bad Guys in 4K UHD from
  • 4/21/2022 8:56 AM EST

    Mr. Beast Steals The First 6 Minutes!

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