‘The Bad Guys (2022)’: Review of the Film and Plot Synopsis

Produced by DreamWorks Animation Studios and released by Universal Pictures, The Bad Guys is a 2022 American computer-animated heist comedy film based partially on the children’s book series of the same name by Aaron Blabey.

Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Alex Borstein, and Lilly Singh lend their voices to the picture, which was directed by Pierre Perifel (in his feature directorial debut) and written by Etan Cohen.

The plot follows a band of anthropomorphic criminals who, upon being apprehended, appear to try to change themselves as model citizens; however, the group’s leader is drawn to altering his ways as a new villain has his own ideas.

The film’s production began in March 2018, with Cohen writing the screenplay; the film’s characters and themes were inspired by a number of crime films and anime series, including the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, Lupin III, Pulp Fiction, and Beastars, while the film’s animation style was influenced by Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

The Bad Guys (2022)
The Bad Guys (2022)

Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, voice acting had to be done remotely, however, production kicked off in DWA Glendale and utilized some production assets borrowed from Jellyfish Pictures. The film’s score was written by Daniel Pemberton.

The Bad Guys Plotline

Pickpocket and thief Mr. Wolf heads The Evil Guys, a group of notorious criminal animals who commit bold thefts and escape the authorities since they are seen as intrinsically “bad” animals in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals coexist.

When Governor Diane Foxington insults Wolf on live TV, he recruits his gang to rob a gala so they may steal the Golden Dolphin award, which will be presented to guinea pig philanthropist Professor Marmalade.

Wolf rescues an old woman by accident during the theft and is afterwards recognized for his good deed, which causes him to feel uncomfortable. After the gang is caught, Wolf convinces Marmalade to “reform” them with Foxington’s blessing so that they can try to steal the trophy again under false pretenses.

The gang visits Marmalade at his house, but they have trouble following his rules. Foxington initially wants to cancel the experiment after Wolf’s “heist for good” to rescue a herd of guinea pigs from a research lab fails because Wolf’s second-in-command, Mr. Snake, eats them. However, she changes her mind when Wolf reveals that he turned to crime because he hates being hated for his species.

After giving the situation some thought, Wolf ends up saving a cat from a tree, an event that is recorded and published by Marmalade and helps to change the public’s perception of the gang for the better. Yet Snake worries that he is drifting apart from his pal.

The group attempts another heist to steal the trophy from a gala, but Wolf is unable to follow through and instead vows to truly repent. The group is instantly suspected when a meteorite disappears from public view.

After the gang has been arrested, Marmalade meets with them privately to disclose that he is the old woman Wolf helped and that he is the one who stole the meteorite. Wolf tells his group in prison that he no longer wants to be a criminal and that they may change for the better.

Snake refuses to listen, certain that society will always view them as monsters no matter how much they change. A strange figure intervenes in their struggle; it turns out to be Foxington. Then, Wolf reveals her true identity as the notorious criminal mastermind known only as “The Crimson Paw.”

The Bad Guys (2022)
The Bad Guys (2022)

The Bad Guys cast

  • Gray wolf Mr. Wolf, played by Sam Rockwell, is the gang’s commander and getaway driver as well as a smart, attractive pickpocket. Additionally, he has the ability to directly address the audience in specific situations by breaking the fourth wall.
  • Wolf’s best friend and second-in-command, Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), is a cynical, sarcastic snake who can breach safes.
  • Expert hacker tarantula Awkwafina, aka Ms. Tarantula, aka Webs, aka Mata Hairy, aka Hairy Awk.
    Master of disguise shark Mr. Shark, played by Craig Robinson, is a sympathetic and childlike character.
  • Anthony Ramos portrays Mr. Piranha, the gang’s “muscle” and a quick-tempered, impulsive piranha. When Piranha becomes anxious, he often times farts.
  • Professor Rupert Marmalade IV, played by Richard Ayoade, is a wealthy guinea pig who advises Wolf’s group begin doing “good deeds” and who, in reality, plans to steal from his own charity.
  • Wolf’s girlfriend and state governor, Diane Foxington/The Crimson Paw, is a red fox played by Zazie Beetz. It is also revealed that she was once a ruthless crime lord.
  • Human police commander Misty Luggins has a short fuse and will stop at nothing to get The Bad Guys, played by Alex Borstein.
  • Tiffany Fluffit, played by Lilly Singh, is a human local news reporter with a penchant for embellishment.
  • Wolf had meant to pickpocket an elderly woman resembling Barbara Goodson. Her identity as a masquerade worn by Marmalade is eventually revealed.
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