After a lifetime of legendary heists, notorious criminals Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula are finally caught. To avoid a prison sentence, the animal outlaws must pull off their most challenging con yet — becoming model citizens. Under the tutelage of their mentor, Professor Marmalade, the dubious gang sets out to fool the world that they’re turning good.

Director: Pierre Perifel
Writers: Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen, Yoni Brenner
Staring: Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Alex Borstein
Release Date: May 11, 2007

The Bad Guys (2022) is a damn good time!

I was drawn to this movie because every time I am keeping score of a game between friends, I always say the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys. I always put myself on the Good Guys team, but let’s be real…it is sometimes more fun to be the bad guy.

The Bad Guys is a damn good heist movie. Doesn’t matter if it is animated or watered down for kids. The Bad Guys has the vibes that you want. The music is blasting, the team-up moments are fluid, and the conclusion has a cool-enough payoff that brings the whole story, for kids and adults, to a satisfying ending.

This movie has a good enough heist feel that my girlfriend requested to watch a heist movie after just tuning in for just five minutes.

Wolf (Sam Rockwell) is the leader of a dastardly group of thieves. His best friend is Snake (Marc Maron), and in their contingent there is also Tarantula (Awkwafina), Shark (Craig Robinson) and Piranha (Anthony Ramos). We meet the group just after they robbed a bank; a normal run in the park for them. The group, who affectionately call themselves “The Bad Guys”, gets chased by Police Chief Misty Luggins (Alex Borstein), but escapes with their goods back to their layer.

Watching themselves on the TV, Wolf hears his group get called out by governor Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz). He doesn’t take that lightly, so he challenges his team to steal the Golden Dolphin; the most prized target for any con. The Bad Guys robbery attempt hits a snag, and as a result they must become students of the nicest guy in the world, Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade). The professors says that he can transform these Bad Guys into Good Guys. The Bad Guys think they have been given a second chance to pull off the greatest heist of all-time. The question is, whose morals and decisions will win out in a rather unorthodox battle between Good and Evil.

The Bad Guys hits the mark for kids movie. It has lessons it can teach the kids but also entertainment value to keep all viewers enthused. The robbery bits are very comedic, anchored heavily by Shark and his bonkers antics and costume changes. From a style standpoint, director Pierre Perifel isn’t afraid to add some old school comic book pizzaz to it. The different characters, transitioning between scenes and banter between the characters is reminiscent of a fun Saturday morning cartoon. It puts a smile on your face. And that is what a kids movie should do.

There is not much to reviewing a kids movie. It either hits its marks or it doesn’t. The Bad Guys doesn’t reach the crazy heights of The Lego Movie (2014) or more recently Encanto (2021), but it isn’t trying to make you cry or rethink your life choices. The Bad Guys is meant to make you laugh and forget life for a while. It steals your attention, and you are happy to abed it.

The Bad Guys is streaming on Peacock.

STANKO RATING: B+ (3.5/5 Stars)

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