Duration: 100 minutes
Director: Pierre Perifel
Voice Cast: Richard Ayoade, Alex Borstein, Lilly Singh, Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Awkwafina, Zazie Beetz
IANS Rating: ***
'The Bad Guys' is an animated, high-octane, fun-filled heist thriller based on The New York Times best-selling series of children's books by Aaron Blabey. Set in Los Angeles, where humans and anthropomorphic animals co-exist, the story revolves around the world's most-wanted villains aka "The Bad Guys", who are projected- as a group of friendly, loveable criminals. They set out to correct the perception people have about them.
They are; Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell), a witty and charming petty thief who specialises in pickpocketing, he is also the leader of the tribe; Mr. Snake (Marc Maron) is a sarcastic and cynical expert in cracking safes, and Wolf's second-in-command and best friend; Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos) the youngest of the lot is a short-tempered brute; Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson) is a childish and sensitive master of disguises; Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina) is the only female member of the gang and is an expert hacker, she is also known as, "webs" or "Mata Hairy".
This gang of five, typical in their demeanour is legendary for the city's countless heists. They are the number-one target of Diane (Zazie Beetz), the canny fox governor, and Luggins (Alex Borstein), the human chief of police.
When their luck finally runs out and the gang is finally caught, they face jail time. Mr. Wolf brokers a deal on the advice of his mentor Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade), an arrogant but adorable guinea pig, to use their sly skills for doing good in society.
Along the way, Mr. Wolf begins to suspect that doing good for real, may give him what he always secretly longed for, acceptance. So, when a new villain threatens the city, how Mr. Wolf persuades the rest of his gang to become 'The Good Guys' sets the ball rolling for a happily chaotic, highly involved narrative that leads them through a gambit of twists that are both predictable and enjoyable.
The characters against the eye-popping backgrounds and action are captivating enough to entertain audiences of all ages.
Packed with double and triple crosses; the plot blends technical heist gags, car chase scenes, and buddy road trip elements to complicate the narrative into a wild and crazy experience. The story has great dynamism despite taking references from classic films. The film with its fun atmosphere and breezy pacing manages to have its own identity, and as if this were not enough, it has emotional messages about friendships too.
Overall, the 2D and 3D animations are neat, and they merge effortlessly with the colour palette making the film appear quite fresh and exciting.