Film Review: “The Bad Guys” (2022)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We teach children, at least most of us do, to not judge a book by its cover. Some people present themselves as nice, social and caring, while behind closed doors they are simply evil. It just happens that we always question ourselves why certain people are fine with crossing the line to turn into someone it’s preferred not to be? We confuse straightforwardness with rudeness and someone who is extremely nice must certainly want something in return. It’s like aiming at a target you will always miss. Because there is never a perfect answer to what makes a good person good, and what makes a bad person turn into an ugly one.

Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell), Snake (Marc Maron), Tarantula (Awkwafina), Piranha (Anthony Ramos) and Shark (Craig Robinson) are just a dream team. They are the personification of evil. They are ruthless, bold, dangerous and just a gang of robbers. They are proud of their title – the scariest bad guys around. They decide to pretend to be good guys to steal the Award trophy for Good Samaritan. But as soon as Wolf the Team begin to execute their plan, they find it difficult to resist the temptation of being a truly good guy. As they fight hard between the good and bad side of themselves, the evil cloud turns on them and whatever they do seems doomed to fail. 

The opening sequence of “The Bad Guys” is perhaps my favorite so far. Snake and Wolf sit at the restaurant and casually talk about life, birthdays and what they are. Almost like it’s just another day when the two friends met for a cup of coffee. But as soon as they prepare to leave the restaurant, we find people scarily hiding in the corner while the server is behind the door trying to avoid the bad guys. Despite Wolf being generous and leaving money on the counter, we realize that they are guys you would not want to mess with. Because right in front of the place where they just had their meal, there was a bank they robbed effortlessly, almost like the financial institution had an open door policy just for them. 

Fast forward, after the happy ending of an insane car chase, Wolf, with his pals, sits on sofa and turns on the TV where he sees the new Governor, Diane Foxington (Zazie Beetz), a charming lady who is not scared to challenge the bad guys and arrest them at the first given opportunity. And when she announces the day of the award ceremony for Good Samaritan, Wolf changes his mind that then, at least, for the time being, they will be good. Despite that effort being challenging, soon there will be a drastic change in Wolf’s personality to realize that being good is perhaps better than being bad. 

Screenplay by Ethan Cohen and directed by Pierre Perifel, “The Bad Guys” is a nice family animated film with a thought-provoking concept even for adults. Certain scenes or lines are so good, you will hope, some grown ups will get it too. No offence of course. The film is a remedy for those who take the wrong path in life and provides a way to turn themselves in – towards goodness. It’s a good, charming and absolutely fun film to watch, I, myself, without hesitation, did it twice. Because it has that good aura you want it to stay with you all day. Because being good and doing good to others is the best feeling – the best reward that any of us can receive. And “The Bad Guys” shows that. No matter how bad you are, there is a way to change yourself. But do not be fooled. Because those who pretend to be nice are the ones that should be trusted less. Maybe it doesn’t work in every case, but in some, it certainly does.

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