Sam Rockwell Compares The Bad Guys To This Classic Heist Movie

Based on the graphic novel series by Australian author Aaron Blabey, Pierre Perifel's upcoming animated feature "The Bad Guys" is about a team of anthropomorphic animals who traditionally play villainous roles in classic fairy tales. The animals live in modern-day Los Angeles alongside humans, and they spend their days planning heists and committing crimes before realizing they might want to try being good for a change. Sam Rockwell voices Mr. Wolf (of the "big bad" variety), who runs a criminal gang that includes Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina), Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson), and Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos). The story will also involve Governor Fox (Zazie Beetz), who might have a shady past of her own. 

"The Bad Guys" is a heist movie, inviting comparisons to Steven Soderbergh's 2001 film "Ocean's Eleven," one of the more notable entries of the genre in the last several decades. In an interview with Lights Camera Jackson, Perifel revealed that the casting of Rockwell was as close as he could come to George Clooney, the title character of "Ocean's Eleven," without actually casting Clooney himself. While Rockwell and Clooney are different sorts of performers — Clooney excels at twinkling charmers, whereas Rockwell has bluster and confidence even when playing sad sacks or character with pathos — one can compare their confidence and wit. 

In an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Rockwell, with his usual laid-back appeal, compared "The Bad Guys" to two classic heist movies: "Ocean's Eleven," and then, after thinking a moment, Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut feature, "Reservoir Dogs." 

Reservoir Wolf?

After bantering briefly as to Rockwell's status as a sex symbol presented with a question mark in an article in New York Magazine, Jimmy Fallon and Sam Rockwell talked up "The Bad Guys." "It's kind of like an 'Ocean's Eleven' for kids, I guess. Or a 'Reservoir Dogs' for kids," Rockwell said. Only with other animals from the reservoir, one might say.

"Reservoir Dogs" is a heist movie that famously told its story out of chronological order, getting to know each characters in the planning phase, and then in the aftermath of a diamond heist gone awry. The heist itself is never filmed. The characters, sporting names like Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, and Mr. Brown (a conceit inspired by the 1974 heist movie "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three") are all career criminals, though one of them is secretly an undercover cop. Imagine the heist perpetrators as animals, and you have what Rockwell seems to have been describing. 

Rockwell also talked about how "The Bad Guys" hired a special choreographer to aid in the animation of the film's dance numbers. Neither "Reservoir Dogs" nor "Ocean's Eleven" featured dancing, so there's one way the new animated film is superior to the classics that came before it. 

"The Bad Guys" opens in theaters on April 22, 2022.