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Review: 'The Bad Guys' is no con, just great family fun

"The Bad Guys" movie opened Thursday in theaters.

"The Bad Guys" movie opened Thursday in theaters. (DreamWorks)

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THE HIDEOUT — Finding a great flick for family movie night can be a lot of work. Can we get all the kids to agree? Are mom and dad actually going to enjoy this? Is it too grown-up for the little ones? Finding that perfect balance is not easy, but I'm here to tell you that for my money, which I'd keep a close eye on around these guys, "The Bad Guys" is close to family film perfection.

The new animated film is based off the book series of the same name by Aaron Blabey. The movie follows Mr. Wolf, and his entourage of baddies as they grift, lift and sneak their way through the city and slowly realize that maybe being bad isn't so good.

Here is why I think you should make "The Bad Guys" your next family trip to the theater.

It's funny

When a movie claims to be a comedy, there is really only one thing I really need to get out of it and that's laughs. If you're supposed to be a comedy, then be funny. I thought "The Bad Guys" was plenty funny. Between sight gags, comedic set ups, quirky characters and quick one-liners, this movie had me laughing consistently.

I'm not just talking silly jokes to make kids smile, but really clever ones that get both kids and parents laughing. One scene in particular involving some locked-up guinea pigs and an overly eager snake had me in stitches. The characters are a lot of fun and voiced brilliantly by a talented cast. All three of my kids, ages 11, 9 and 5, were laughing throughout the movie and their mother and I were right there with them.

It's got that heist movie charisma

Many of you who have read my reviews and movie-related articles in the past likely know I am a big fan of heist movies. There is a style and energy to those movies that are undeniable. From "Ocean's Eleven" to "Inception," heist movies take on all shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common, other than the heist, is they have style. "The Bad Guys" is no different.

It may be an animated family film, but make no mistake, "The Bad Guys" is a heist movie and I loved that aspect. There are multiple schemes and plans going on in "The Bad Guys" and they're clever, fun and stylistic. From the quick banter between characters to the suave suits and slick disguises, "The Bad Guys" is a well-done heist movie, but you may miss it considering you're watching an animated movie with a wolf, tarantula, snake, piranha and a shark.

While the movie is a bit predictable, as to the ultimate outcome, I have to say the double crosses and surprising reveals caught me unaware more than once. This is a gateway heist movie to prep your kids until they're older and can watch some of the greats that "The Bad Guys" so clearly takes inspiration from.

The animation is unique

How far computer animation has come in the last few decades is incredible. The vibrant colors and flawless movements of recent films like "Encanto" and "Raya the Last Dragon" are stunning. But "The Bad Guys" has a unique animation style and it made the film stand out. The animation is based more off an illustration style found in the books. While Wolf and the rest of his gang don't look exactly like their counterparts in the book, they do look like they've been lifted from the page and given movement on the big screen.

The animation isn't hyper-realistic like some of its contemporaries, but "The Bad Guys" has its own style and it makes this already cool movie a little more cool.

Should I go see it?

I enthusiastically say, "No, you shouldn't go see 'The Bad Guys.' You should take your family to 'The Bad Guys.'"

This movie was a blast and you'll leave the theater with a smile on your face, your kids playing out scenes and the adults quoting lines.

It's hard for a lot of family films to find that perfect mix of humor, message, heart and entertainment, but "The Bad Guys" did it and it's a perfect night out with the family.

"The Bad Guys" is officially rated PG for action and rude humor.

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John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. He also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome, and it just so happens, that these are the three things he writes about.


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