April 14, 2022

CINEMA | Ocean's Animals – DreamWorks Reforms 'The Bad Guys'

"Go bad or go home."
Sam Rockwell Marc Maron Anthony Ramos Craig Robinson Awkwafina Pierre Perifel | The Bad Guys | DreamWorks Animation
Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation and French animator Pierre Perifel (making his feature directing debut) adapt The Bad Guys, based on the illustrated children's graphic novel series of the same name by Australian author Aaron Blabey, into a light and breezy heist comedy about a gang of anthropomorphic animal criminals.

Sam Rockwell and Marc Maron voice Mr. Wolf and Mr. Snake, best friends and leaders of a notorious crew of professional thieves, who pull off various high-profile robberies throughout the film. Rockwell delights in portraying the slick, likeable bad guy who's clearly aping Clooney's Danny Ocean while Maron offers an odd charm as a slithery version of his gruff comedic demeanour.

Scripted by veteran screenwriter Etan Cohen, The Bad Guys feels stripped down to the essentials with not even a passing reference as to why there are a bunch of seemingly random talking animals living amongst regular humans in a familiar version of Los Angeles where a meteor struck the downtown core.

The Bad Guys is enough fun for children and adults as a fast-moving romp about villains riffing on typical heist fare. Its stylish animation, talented voice cast, and quick pace make sure the amusement lasts. Still, it feels a bit thin and lacks the heart or substance we expect from most top-tier animation.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Slashfilm

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