The Bad Guys (2022)
Directed by: Pierre Perifel
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, and Zazie Beetz
Adapted from The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey
After a lifetime of legendary heists, notorious criminals Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula are finally caught. To avoid a prison sentence, the animal outlaws must pull off their most challenging con yet — becoming model citizens. Under the tutelage of their mentor, Professor Marmalade, the dubious gang sets out to fool the world that they’re turning good.
Last weekend we decided to have a family night at the local drive-in theater. They were showing a double feature: The Bad Guys and Jurassic World: Dominion. Both movies were high on our watch list, but The Bad Guys is one that we counted down the days to its release. The book series is one of my son’s all-time favorites. I credit it for his love of reading. It was the first book series that he actively read on his own, eagerly waiting for each book and begging me to preorder and check when the next one was coming. Even now, at 11, it is still one of his favorite series that he has read countless times. With that in mind, we excitedly anticipated the movie adaptation. And y’all it didn’t disappoint!
The movie has been out a while, but personally we’ve been so busy that we haven’t had a chance to go see it so I was really excited to take my son to the drive in for the first time and it be a movie he was excited to see. The story opens on Wolf and Snake getting ready to rob a bank. They are in their prime element as bad guys and don’t really want to change. However through a series of mishaps the group finds that being good is better than being bad.
Quite a few liberties were taken with the source material to give us this film, however the core elements are there. My son was quick to point out that the Bad Guys of the books were really the good guys and that the Bad Guys in the movie had to become good guys. That was the biggest difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how it was handled. The writers were careful to show that Wolf, Snake, Piranha, Shark, and Tarantula each had strong gifts and together their team worked well. The team is led by Wolf and as he begins to see the error in their ways, he is able to influence the team to see it as well. I liked how the emphasis was on them, their team dynamic, and the ability to change for the better.
The humor is spot on for kids. I found myself laughing a long as well, and my son loved the new jokes as well as few from the books. While the plot here isn’t from the book series, the characters and values are. It was exciting to see them in a new way and in a new adventure. Overall we really enjoyed this one and highly recommend it.