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Review: The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby
03.29.2017
5 10

PLOT: When a little baby arrives at seven-year-old Tim’s home, the young boy's entire life is turned upside down. Will the wild adventures of a briefcase carrying baby trying to save the entire babydom from a maniacal puppy lover bring Tim closer to his family, or leave him feeling abandoned?

REVIEW: DreamWorks Animation has an interesting history, and frankly I’ve been on board for most of their feature films as of late. And here comes THE BOSS BABY. The trailers never appealed to me, and sadly they live up to the finished project. There is nothing terribly inventive or new here, in fact, it all feels familiar and sort of dull. Ironically some of the best moments come from the occasional homage to action films like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - is it just me, or did we actually see a MAD MAX: FURY ROAD inspired moment. Much of what you will see are repetitive examples of sibling rivalry, chase sequences and poop jokes. And frankly, it’s a bit of a dull experience to sit through. Perhaps the young ones will have more fun.

2017 alec baldwin the boss baby dreamworks animation comedy jimmy kimmel lisa kudrow steve buscemi tom mcgrath

Miles Christopher Bakshi plays Tim, a seven-year-old boy who is enjoying the attention and love from his parents (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow). Ah, the joy of being an only child. Yet this magical world he has created comes to a crashing halt when he finds out that his mom is having a baby. This of course isn’t your typical baby. Unlike most infants, Boss Baby shows up in a car wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. And yes, Boss Baby enjoys the inspired casting of Alec Baldwin. This little guy isn’t just here to play with blocks and such, he has plans to go after Tim’s parents work. You see, they are employees at Puppy Co., and with the upcoming reveal of a brand new adorable puppy that is taking the love of babies away, Boss Baby enlists his new brother to stop the madness.

Directed by Tom McGrath (MADAGASCAR, MEGAMIND), this story of a business savvy baby rarely brings any laughs. The jokes are tired and at times, the humor feels a bit outdated. The chase sequences you’ve mostly seen before, and you can only take so many poop and fart jokes. The animation itself is at times impressive, so there was never an issue with that, but the story itself is incredibly weak. It takes a long time to get to the actual plot, and once you do it becomes simply waiting for the running time to end. Adapted from a book by Marla Frazee, I’d be curious to see what kind of changes were made in the script, written by Michael McCullers.

2017 the boss baby alec baldwin dreamworks animation jimmy kimmel lisa kudrow steve busecmi tobey maguire

The best thing here is the voice talent. Alec Baldwin, fresh off his recent and acclaimed work on Saturday Night Live, is perfect as a baby with a bone to pick. He even shares an occasionally touching relationship with Tim. It’s a shame that it would rather focus on the crappy humor as opposed to the remnants of heart that shines through. Albeit I did appreciate the journey the film takes into Tim’s vivid imagination. That was a nice touch. Another solid choice in casting is Steve Buscemi who takes on the villainous Francis Francis. This is a good cast that also includes Tobey Mcguire, but even they can’t save the lame jokes.

As much of an issue I had with THE BOSS BABY, there is really one thing that is the most important… will children like it? Judging from the screening I went to they reacted mostly positive. However, even from them, the laughs were rare. The concept itself could have been a whole lot more enjoyable had it been fleshed out a bit. As mentioned, when this is about the family or Tim’s many childhood fantasies as opposed to the silly larger picture, it works far better.

THE BOSS BABY is a mediocre attempt to make Alec Baldwin’s baby something young ones will want to take home - plush toy or what have you. It’s sporadically funny, but not worth rushing out to the theatre to see. The casting was smart even if the film itself rarely rises above another potty joke. At this point DreamWorks Animation is a giving audiences a nice selection of stories but they’ve done much better with previous works. Baldwin is having a blast and that is fun to watch, but not enough to really create movie magic. It’s a shame because there is very little magic here.

Source: JoBlo.com

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