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Laramie Movie Scope: The Bad Guys

Comic heists, reform and redemption

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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April 24, 2022 – While waiting for this film to start, I saw what seemed to be a dozen previews of hyperactive animated movies, all of which looked like clones of each other and none of which seemed likely to be as good as this one. After a couple of goofs by the Cinemark theater projectionist, and a 15-minute interruption, the movie finally got some momentum and it turned out to be pretty entertaining.

A criminal gang called the bad guys pulls off a daring robbery to open the film, pausing their getaway car in front of a police station because the chase is the most fun part of a heist, according the Bad Guy's leader, a very clever Wolf. Others in his gang are a very grumpy Snake (voiced by Marc Maron) a computer-hacking Tarantula, a perpetually hungry and powerful land Shark (voiced by Craig Robinson) and a hyperactive, fast-moving land Piranha (voiced by Richard Ayoade).

The bad guys are opposed by a very frustrated Police Chief Misty Luggins (voiced by Alex Borstein) and the foxy Governor Diane Foxington, who makes disparaging remarks about the Bad Guys. The Wolf, stung by Foxington's remarks, decides to try an even more daring heist, just to show her up.

The heist goes bad and the Bad Guys are captured, but the wiley Wolf manages to persuade Foxington to give the Bad Guys a chance to reform, under the direction of Good Guy guinea pig Professor Rupert Marmalade IV. Marmalade tries to reform the Bad Guys with various moralistic exercises, including a “heist for good” to release animals in a lab where they are used for experiments, but that goes wrong when the Snake eats the animals he is supposed to be rescuing. The Bad Guys end up in prison for stealing a valuable meteorite, a crime they did not commit.

The mysterious and elusive cat burglar, The Crimson Paw, breaks them out of prison because she believes the Bad Guys were framed. But who stole the meteorite? The Bad Guys and the Crimson Paw decide to join forces to find out the identity of the real thief and clear their names, all but one, that is, the Snake is mad at Wolf for wanting to go straight. Snake goes off on his own, causing the gang to split up. The Wolf and Crimson Paw, who have chemistry, continue the mission to find out who really stole the meteorite.

There are a lot of plot twists in this movie, including a couple involving characters who are not at all who they seem to be at first. There are several good characters in this movie who kept me interested in the story, including Wolf, Foxington, Misty Luggins and Snake.

This computer animated film from DreamWorks Animation is directed by Pierre Perifel (“Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Rise of the Guardians”). The story is loosely based on a series of children's books by Aaron Blabey. Given the success of this film, there appears that more Bad Guys films may be in the future. This film rates a B.

I saw this film in 3D, but there did not seem to be much depth in the 3D video, and no popouts, either. The theater projector was not properly set up for 3D, in fact, the projector was not turned on at all at the beginning (sound but no picture for some of the previews). The 3D mistake resulted in a pause and delay in the movie, while the hard drive was swapped out, but the theater management apologized and handed out free passes because the error. This has actually happened to me before. As 3D becomes less prevalent, 3D technical problems like this seem to be increasing.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2022 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]