The Bad Guys, with its jazzy soundtrack, cartoonish animation and simple story solidifies that storytelling shouldn’t be complicated.
The Bad Guys, starring Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell, is a ‘what if’ movie about if fictional predators could possibly adapt and become friendly, based on the New York Times bestseller penned under the same name.
A Reservoir Dogs named gang of animal foes, Mr Wolf (Rockwell), Mr Snake (Marc Maron), Ms Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr Shark (Craig Robinson), and Mr Piranha (Anthony Ramos) are our titular Bad Guys, who scare the public even with their presence, let alone actually harming anyone.
However, after one heist fails, local guinea-pig philanthropist and humanitarian Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade) offers the villains a chance of redemption to clear their names.
After proving their newfound ability to be good civilians, a historic artefact goes missing and the Bad Guys are prime suspect number one.
As a premise, it is incredibly predictable, but the film never tries to be clever or smart. Director Pierre Perifel is aware the story is predictable, and juvenile, so instead focuses their efforts on making audiences care about the characters.
This does however raise a few questions, as aside from one other animal, Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz), all the animals mentioned exist in a human world with clear depictions of domesticated animals, pets, and the animal kingdom, which never gets mentioned, discussed or joked with.
At least with Zootropolis audiences knew where they stood.
Why this is important, is that Mr Shark is supposedly a master of disguise. Except, in a world where he is the only walking, talking, oxygen-breathing shark to fit into a size 18, surely that would raise a few eyebrows.
Though, if we suspend our disbelief, knowing the story beats, and expecting the inevitable twists, the film is fun. With its fulfilling conclusion payoff, it reminded me a lot of BBC‘s Hustle, told with the art style of Mitchells vs the Machines.
Plus, with a jazzy Ocean’s Eleven inspired soundtrack from Daniel Pemberton, and dialogue nods to George Clooney, I was whisked along the furry fable that showcased the film’s affection for the ER performer.
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