Using the children’s book of the same as inspiration, The Boss Baby follows the story of seven and a half year old Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi). Tim is living a perfect life with his two perfect parents, played by Lisa Kudrow and TV host Jimmy Fallon. Everything is going flawlessly, spending his days acting out his wildest imaginations. That is until a newborn baby is welcomed into the family, dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase at all times. The baby has their entire family wrapped around his little fingers, nobody able to see him for who he really is. Nobody except Tim.
This is a movie that should’ve been terrible. The premise, I will admit, is all sorts of stupid. Plot has never been one of DreamWorks’ strong suits, and the same fault is carried over here. It ranges from generic to shallow to somewhat creative and then bounces right back to being generic and shallow again. Alec Baldwin serving as the voice of a suit wearing baby is an idea I am 100% for. What goes with that is a story that’s touching and meaningful, more so for younger audiences than for the teenage and above demographic, but ultimately predictable and formulaic. Talking babies isn’t something I’d necessarily describe as new or original, but neither is a new Alien film and I’m pumped out of my mind for Alien: Covenant. Weird comparison, I know, but it’s the first film that sprung to mind.
While the core plot is full of plot holes and inconsistencies, as well as a doltish villain played by Steve Buscemi, it’s the little moments that prove to be the best parts of the film. Small embraces between Tim and his brother will hit home with kids expecting siblings, and maybe even parents of siblings, too. Their imaginative and colourful play sequences, especially one that takes place on a pirate ship, are joy, if not somewhat less impactful than intended. But the same can be said for this entire movie. Everything feels so flat. Events happen with little resonance. Even the opening title card feels awkward, floating in with little care and leaving much the same. Narration is tacked on in an attempt to give the film an extra layer towards the third act, but this layer is predictable for older audiences, and an aspect of the film that little kids won’t even pick up on.
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