Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel
Director: Tom McGrath
Running Time: 98 mins
The Boss Baby is an American film about a business-savvy, suit-wearing baby who joins forces with his new older brother to bring down a plot by the head of Puppy Co., who aims to replace babies with puppies forever.
This movie just didn’t make any sense. Yes, it’s a silly and simple concept that young kids will surely have some fun with, and its bright colours, zany atmosphere and fast pacing make it the perfect sort of watch for them, but for anyone older, The Boss Baby is a little bewildering.
The main problem that I have with this movie is that you’re never quite sure how far you’re meant to suspend your disbelief. We can all get on board with a silly concept like a baby being able to talk, or even that the baby is a savvy businessman, but there’s so much more about this film that goes almost too far into weird fantasy entertainment.
For one, the movie isn’t ever really clear about what the limits are on who or what can see that the baby is a boss baby. Whilst he has full conversations and a developed relationship with his older brother, his parents don’t realise that he’s not a normal baby, yet seem perfectly happy to go along with the fact that he’s wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase around.
It may seem a little nitpicky, but it’s a basic part of the story that left me feeling very confused from start to finish as to what the exact parameters are surrounding this strange boss baby thing.
What’s more is that the movie likes to blend children’s imagination with the real world, but that gets a little muddled too. Although it starts off relatively promisingly, by separating the real and imaginary world with distinct animation styles, the antics that the characters get up to become more and more preposterous and bizarre as the film goes on, yet they’re not portrayed as if they’re happening in the imagination, again proving very confusing when it comes to actually stringing a coherent story together.
Another issue that I had with The Boss Baby is that it wasn’t all that funny. Although two of its main running gags, Alec Baldwin as a baby and the babies v. puppies feud, were pretty enjoyable, the majority of the movie’s jokes are all a little underwhelming.
It’s a simple kids’ movie, so I accept that we don’t need to have sharp wit throughout the screenplay, but I felt that the film was far too content on throwing bright and manic action/fantasy sequences in your face instead of hammering home some really good jokes, and that took away a lot of potential for me.
When it comes to positives, I can’t say that The Boss Baby is an awful movie. Like I said, young kids will enjoy it, and there’s nothing particularly moronic or annoying about its premise, it’s just that it’s so far-detached from anything like reality that it’s almost impossible to comprehend. Alec Baldwin does a good job as the baby, even if his co-stars aren’t quite so entertaining.
Overall, I was a little bewildered by The Boss Baby. It’s a weird premise that’s a little difficult to get a grip on at any point, given its huge inconsistencies in explanation. What’s more is that it’s not a particularly funny movie, and although its bright and zany antics will entertain kids, whilst Alec Baldwin’s performance might spark a laugh or two from everyone else, there’s not much to love about this movie, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.1.