Everyone loves a great heist movie, right? Okay maybe not everyone, but lots of people do, though. Thanks to Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation and Scholastic Entertainment, audiences of all ages got a great new heist movie this year in the form of the cinematic adaptation of author Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys books in the aptly titled movie, The Bad Guys. This almost two-hour movie is one of the biggest cinematic surprises of 2022. Having made its theatrical debut April 22, the movie did not last long in theaters, coming home less than two months later to digital and physical platforms June 21. Why it made the transition so quickly is anyone’s guess. Its gross ticket sales of more than $96 million managed to finish the movie’s theatrical run in the black. Regardless of why it was pulled so quickly, that is not necessarily a bad thing. That is because it meant home audiences who did not want to have to go to the theater would not have to wait that long to finally get to enjoy it in the comfort of their homes. There is plenty to appreciate about the movie, beginning with its story, which will be discussed shortly. The work of the movie’s cast is also important to note in terms of the movie’s engagement and entertainment and will be discussed a little later. The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted does its own share to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout this movie. All things considered they make The Bad Guys a very good movie for the whole family.
Universal Pictures, Scholastic Entertainment, and Dreamworks Animation’s cinematic adaptation of author Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys book series is one of the most unsuspecting successes of this year’s theatrical releases. Its success is due in part to its featured story. The story stays largely true to its source material, combining elements of the stories in Blabey’s beloved children’s books for an overall story about Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, and Ms. Tarantula turning from bad to good, but still at least being a little bad in the end. The group’s transformation happens after being arrested early on for a heist that it commits. Professor Marmalade (played by Richard Ayoade – The IT Crowd, The Watch, The Double) comes in after striking a deal with Diane Foxington (voiced by Zazie Beets – Deadpool 2, Joker, Atlanta) to help reform the criminals. In the process of their reformation, Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell – Moon, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) actually does start going good, which leads to its own share of conflict within the group as the story progresses. Of course being a family friendly movie, the story ends up with a surprise happy ending that will be left for audiences to discover for themselves. Coming in at just under two hours (one hour, 40 minutes to be exact), the story’s pacing helps things along, too. Even the romance subplot (yes, sadly even here there is a romance story) does not overpower the bigger story of the Bad Guys turning good, but rather is blended well into the overall story, letting itself take a backseat to the bigger tale. The overall story also has plenty of jokes that are just edgy enough to have adults laughing but not questioning their content. So even here is an aspect of the story that further shows the story’s importance and impact. Overall, the story featured here in The Bad Guys offers so much for audiences to appreciate more than once.
As much as the story featured in The Bad Guys does to make it enjoyable, it is just one part of what makes the movie so engaging and entertaining. The cast’s work throughout does its own share to make the movie enjoyable. From Alex Borstein (Family Guy, Bad Santa, Catwoman) taking on the comedic role of Police Chief Misty, who is hellbent on catching Mr. Wolf and company, to Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This Is The End, Pineapple Express) adding so much comedic timing as Mr. Shark, to Anthony Ramos (A Star is Born, In The Heights, Hamilton) bringing something of a Joe Pesci type personality to Mr. Piranha, and more, the whole cast brings so much enjoyment to the movie. Staying for a moment on Ramos’ performance, he does such a great job giving Mr. Piranha that Napoleon complex of sorts for which Pesci’s characters have come to have over the years. He really has a great gangster persona yet he does it in such a fun fashion that the whole family will enjoy his work. Robinson brings his own talent to Mr. Shark, making Mr. Shark an equally great comic relief among the group. He succeeds in creating that contrast between the personalities of his cast mates and deserves his own share of applause. Borstein, who is largely known for her work on Family Guy is just as entertaining as Officer Misty, giving Officer Misty an almost Ahab-esque personality in her quest to catch The Bad Guys once and for all. The moments when the group escapes her clutches, her reaction makes for so many laughs. Between these cast members and the others, every cast member here brings so much to the table and makes for that much more engagement and entertainment for the whole family. When the cast’s work pairs with the movie’s story, that collective makes for all the more enjoyment here.
The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release rounds out the presentation’s most important elements. There is a lot of bonus content but not a lot at the same time. There is an expansive amount of content in the way of learning how to make push pops (which is directly related to a certain element of the movie’s story). Families can learn how to make healthy and tasty fruit push pops and how to dress each one up as a character from the movie, which takes up a lot of time. It also means it will take a lot of time for parents to write everything down if they actually make the frozen treats.
Another bonus that stands out is the standard making of featurette. Audiences learn through this featurette that the animation style used in this movie was intentionally meant to be different from all of the cookie cutter animation presented by Disney and so many other Dreamworks movies. It is pointed out that the movie’s animation is an intentional blend of anime and French animation style. It gives the animation its own welcome unique touch that is just as endearing as the movie’s story and the cast’s work.
In yet another of the bonuses, audiences get to hear from the movie’s main cast, as the group talks about taking on its respective roles. The interviews are brief, but still enlightening and entertaining. That is because of the insight that each cast member offers in terms of taking on the roles of characters that most audiences might not know. It shows a certain level of respect that each cast member has for the characters, the movie, and for one another. Between this bonus, the others discussed here and the few others included in the movie’s home release, the overall bonus content is not necessarily ground breaking, but it does add at least a little bit of extra engagement and entertainment to the presentation. When the enjoyment raised by the bonus content is considered along with the movie’s story and the cast’s work therein, the whole makes the movie overall such a joy to take in any time with the whole family.
Dreamworks Animation, Universal Pictures, and Scholastic Entertainment’s recently released cinematic adaptation of The Bad Guys is a surprisingly enjoyable presentation that the whole family will enjoy together time and again. That is proven in part through a movie that does so well in bringing together elements of author Aaron Blabey’s books for its central story. The work of the cast interpreting the scripts adds even more enjoyment to the mix because of the personality that each actor brings to his and her respective character. The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release adds its own subtle touch to the presentation, too. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the movie. All things considered they make Bad Guys one of the biggest surprises of this year’s field of new theatrical and home movie releases.
Bad Guys is available now on digital and physical platforms. More information on The Bad Guys is available at:
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