The Bad Guys is an exceptionally well-made film is an exceptionally well-made movie from DreamWorks Animation, taking classic heist movie tropes and kids’ movie themes and blending them into an adrenaline-fueled animated film. It centers on a group of criminals and friends as they attempt to pull off their biggest heist yet. There are several reasons why this movie should be watched if you missed it, and luckily it’s now streaming on Netflix.
Classic movie villains and tropes
The opening scene of the film is extremely well done. Two figures, a wolf in a suit and a snake in a Hawaiian shirt, are sitting in a cafe, chatting casually and having breakfast. It looks like a lighthearted scene until they get up to leave, and everyone hides from them, scared. They act casually like nothing is out of the ordinary. This scene immediately hooks the viewer.
Not only does it grab the reader’s attention, but the design is very accurate for heist franchises (even paying homage to the opening dinner scene in Pulp Fiction and character names in Reservoir Dogs). The clothes matched their personalities, and the concept of “bad” animals simply doing what they’re good at (being bad) falls into a similar backstory for many other heist movie characters.
They then rob a bank and embark on an over-the-top car chase where the rest of their team are showcased based on their unique skills, another trope in the heist movie genre. Throughout the first half of the film, the animation is aesthetically designed to look like a heist movie, with similar music and classic cinematic cliches of the genre, such as the split-screen and long, never-before-seen sequences where something is transmitted through the group in secret. .
Villain’s Redemption Arc
But, the film takes a turn. Once the bad guys get caught, it’s not just a heist movie anymore; it is a story of redemption. When Wolf attempts to keep them out of jail while pulling off their biggest heist, he lands them with a wealthy philanthropist to turn “bad guys” into “good guys.” The scheme works on Wolf, however, when he slowly begins to like the feeling of being good.
The rest of the team achieves redemption by doing good instead of evil at various points in the film, with Wolf leading them in the right direction. It’s a charming story of discovering that there’s more to you than what others tell you, and that anyone can be good if given the chance.
Villains have romantic interests too
One of the reasons for Wolf’s change to goodness is the apparent romantic tension between Wolf and Mayor Diane, which begins early in the film and continues throughout. They understand each other because of their past, which allows them to have meaningful conversations other than flirting to show a romantic connection.
This plot point adds character to Wolf’s likability, as he has a more open outlook on life when chatting with the mayor compared to his friends. Their conversations brought to light different perspectives on discrimination and how to deal with it.
Great DreamWorks Animation
The animation in this film is exceptionally well done. It is very fluid and designed to fit the style of the movie genre. The film jumps at the chance to use classic animation tropes such as suspended airtime and exaggerated movements, and nails the parodies. The design is beautiful and all the details of shading, colors and textures are stunning.
The animation works well with the animal/human society this film portrays. They make each one as realistic as possible while keeping the animation clean and kid-friendly. The classic animation gags mentioned, mixed with current animation technology, make for an animated movie that won’t go out of style.
Interesting characters and fantastic cast
While the Snake and the Wolf are the main friends that The Bad Guys focuses on, their entire crew is full of interesting personalities. We see them start out as classic criminal characters before morphing into a more tight-knit group of friends throughout the film. The chemistry between the characters and the banter adds an extra layer of fun to this movie.
With a cast featuring Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos, Marc Maron, and more, it’s no wonder the movie earned top ratings on sites like Rotten Tomatoes. The voice actors adapt to the characters and keep you in a world of believability despite the over-the-top animation and anthropomorphic characters; they still feel like real characters with multifaceted personalities, not just talking cartoon animals.
Well-made children’s movie themes
In The Bad Guys, it’s normal for you to wonder who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy, and where the line is drawn. This is perhaps the main message of the film, that there is no such thing as an absolute “bad guy” or “good guy”, at least not while there is still a chance for change. Throughout the film, these characters go from bad to good to bad and back again, and the so-called “good” guys – well, not everyone is as good as they seem; in fact, most turn out to have more going on behind the scenes. This creates a gripping series of twists.
Another common trope in children’s films is the power of friendship, which always prevails with the message that if you put your friends’ needs first and are there for them, you will both be fine. In this film, the wolf and the snake both have realizations about their friendship that separate them at times, but in the end they realize that nothing is more important.
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Why The Bad Guys is worth watching on Netflix if you missed it | Pretty Reel
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