The Bad Guys review: A fun, animated crime comedy romp

The Unhealthy Guys is, in some ways, a reasonably typical animated household film. It’s acquired a bunch of charming and snarky speaking animals, a vibrant animation model, fast-paced and physics-defying motion sequences, and quite a lot of jokes that can solely work on viewers members between the ages of two and 10. However The Unhealthy Guys can be against the law comedy in the identical vein as Ocean’s Eleven, a movie that undoubtedly doesn’t qualify as “family-friendly,” if solely as a result of it “condones” legal habits.

By combining its conventional, kid-friendly components with a plot that was clearly impressed by a number of a lot edgier heist movies, The Unhealthy Guys finally ends up being an surprising mixture of two opposing genres. What’s much more stunning is the truth that The Unhealthy Guys largely succeeds at creating the identical sort of magic present in so lots of the crime comedies that its makers clearly admire.

That’s to say that, whereas The Unhealthy Guys remains to be a movie that feels the necessity to ship an simply digestible ethical lesson, it’s additionally the sort of film that’s keen to start out with a scene that pays clear homage to the prologue of Pulp Fiction.

Spherical up the same old suspects

Mr. Snake and Mr. Wolf stand together in front of a diner's doors in The Bad Guys.
DreamWorks Animation LLC

Directed by Pierre Perifel and written by Etan Cohen, The Unhealthy Guys focuses on a bunch of anthropomorphic animals who’ve come to simply accept their place because the go-to villains of most tales. There’s Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell), Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos), Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson), and Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina), all of whom deliver their distinctive abilities and personalities to their eccentric crime outfit.

The movie opens with Mr. Wolf and Mr. Snake sitting in a quiet metropolis diner, and it follows them as they argue for a number of minutes about their meals preferences earlier than making their manner throughout the road to rob a close-by financial institution. Within the automobile chase that follows, Mr. Wolf breaks the fourth wall to introduce viewers to himself and the remainder of his crew members. It’s a enjoyable and well-constructed opening sequence, one that mixes components from movies like Out of Sight, Pulp Fiction, and Quick & Livid earlier than reaching its inevitable, deliberately ludicrous conclusion.

From there, The Unhealthy Guys follows its central crew as they try to steal an award from a gala occasion that’s meant to have a good time a rich philanthropist named Rupert Marmalade IV (Richard Ayoade). Nevertheless, issues go incorrect when a second of heroism from Mr. Wolf ends in him and his crew being pressured to endure a sequence of character rehabilitation workouts, all of that are overseen by Marmalade.

The issues within the plan

Mr. Wolf and his crew stand in front of a group of police officers in The Bad Guys.
DreamWorks Animation LLC

It’s when the movie’s titular crew are beneath Marmalade’s watchful eye that The Unhealthy Guys comes dangerously near falling aside. The assessments that the characters are put by means of within the movie all come throughout as uninspired, and Cohen’s script by no means takes the idea so far as it may. Luckily, the movie doesn’t spend an excessive amount of of its runtime on The Unhealthy Guys’ stick with Marmalade, and shortly brings it to an finish with an efficient, if apparent, twist.

As soon as The Unhealthy Guys hits the plot beat in query (which gained’t be spoiled on this assessment), it roughly kicks into excessive gear because it strikes into its third act. The movie begins to choose up lots of the seeds that had been planted in its opening part and unfurls a string of trendy and enjoyable motion sequences which might be punctuated by satisfying and genuinely intelligent plot twists. Taking a web page out of each nice heist film, the movie’s closing part is stuffed with fixed shifts in energy and tongue-in-cheek cons, all of which assist to deliver The Unhealthy Guys’ varied plotlines and character arcs to their inevitable conclusions.

For his half, Perifel, who makes his directorial debut with The Unhealthy Guys, fills the movie with attractive animated visuals and slick, well-edited motion sequences. The movie visually embraces its absurd premise, choosing a cartoonish and goofy model that makes it look decidedly completely different from lots of the high-budget CG-animated motion pictures which might be being launched these days. Perifel additionally offers the movie a heat shade palette that emphasizes its golds, reds, and blacks, which simply makes it all of the extra pleasing to take a look at.

The not-so-perfect con

Predictably, the movie’s family-friendly tone prevents its ending from current inside the similar sort of ethical impartial floor that the majority nice crime motion pictures inhabit. In its concluding moments, The Unhealthy Guys goes out of its solution to wrap up its storylines as neatly as doable, which is a choice that not solely stretches the movie’s inner logic at factors but in addition robs a lot of its characters of their charming complexity.

However the twists that The Unhealthy Guys makes use of to deliver its characters to their respective endpoints are all enjoyable and intelligent in their very own proper, which makes watching the movie’s closing 10 minutes unfold a satisfying expertise regardless of the pressured neatness of its conclusion. In different phrases, whereas the film definitely doesn’t pull off the proper heist, it does succeed at doing most of what it units out to do.

The Unhealthy Guys hits theaters in america on Friday, April 22.

Editors’ Selection

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