Directed by Pierre Perifel in his feature length directorial debut, The Bad Guys is an animated film that is based on the children’s book series of the same name by Australian author Aaron Blabey, and stars an ensemble cast of voices including Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson, Awkwafina, Richard Ayoade, and Zazie Beetz.
The Bad Guys takes place in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live together. We are then introduced to a group of successful and notorious criminals collectively known as ‘The Bad Guys’. The group is led by Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell) and includes Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina), and Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson). But when Mr. Wolf fears that they are becoming too predicable, he comes up with a scheme to pull of the group’s biggest heist yet.
Things don’t go according to plan when the group gets caught. But rather than go to jail Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), with the permission from Governor Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz), decides to tutor The Bad Guys in an attempt to make them good.
As is the case sometimes when there is a various number of characters, I felt that only a couple of the characters had character development. I can understand that it can be difficult to give each character their own story arc, however, I would have liked to seen them all of have more of a journey. I felt this is reflected in the voice acting as well.
While everyone did a wonderful job at voicing their character, I believe that some of the actors had more material to work with, whereas others are mostly given quirky one-liners and not much else to work with besides that. I found the story of The Bad Guys to be compelling, although the film did have a few moments where it felt like it was dragging on, which did somewhat hurt the momentum of the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the music of this film. The film’s score is composed by Daniel Pemberton and is reminiscent of the kind of Jazz music that you would often hear in a spy film. It is also refreshing for a film to rely on an original score rather than using well known popular songs that everyone knows.
The film showcases its own unique look with an animation style that distinguishes itself from other animated features. The animation style in the film is reminiscent of a mix of Hollywood computer animation and Japanese anime. I also appreciated the clever use of orange and yellow which contributed to the film’s unique look, helping it stand apart from other animated films.
The Bad Guys is an enjoyable film, despite containing an ensemble cast, only focusing on a couple of characters while the rest are relegated to the background. Although it does struggle to hold your attention for its entire duration, the animation is visually pleasing to look at, and you will still have some fun along the way.
The Bad Guys is in cinemas now.