Have you ever watched a movie and thought, this had to have been a bet? I can see a couple of producers or directors sitting around playing games when one of them says, “I’ll bet you a hundred grand that you can’t make a decent movie around a title I make up.”
Boss Baby tells the tale of young Tim who loves his life and his parents. He feels like they love him as well. That is until they bring home a new baby, his little brother. The movie manages to simultaneously be a comedy about family and siblings as well as a commercialized corporation. Tim makes a deal to get rid of his little brother by helping him accomplish his “mission” he was sent for. It seems that people have grown in their love for dogs and that means less love for babies, or so his corporate office says.
One of the creative things that I really enjoyed in the movies celebrates children and their imagination. Many scenes cross over into fantasy as Tim’s imagination takes control and he sees and remembers things in his own way. Perhaps this goes throughout the whole movie as he is imagining his little brother can talk and is part of a corporation and so on. The movie never fully explains this or tells you one way or the other. It doesn’t really need to as its not super important.
Along with those fantasy scenes, the movie takes a chance to showcase some of the studio’s animation power and succeeds magnificently at it. Each little scene adds a weight to the film. Even though it is animated, things like little puffs of powder become very tangible and natural in the film through the details the animators put into it.
These things tie together to add a lot of laughter to the film, and I did laugh. I laughed in a way I laugh watching baby videos on the internet.
The laughter couldn’t cover up the thin story though. However, with animated comedies, do we really go to them expecting a great plot line? Maybe? Well, you have to answer that yourself. I’ve come to love kids movies over the years because I always find things that obviously go over the kids heads and are meant for the parents or other “non-kids” watching. Boss Baby tries to hard in this aspect. A few things hit home like Alec Baldwin’s Boss Baby character telling another baby to put a cookie down because “Cookies are for Closers,” but most of the movie comes off quite forced and stale. I can see kids getting a kick out of some of the scenes, but I seriously doubt this is one of those they’ll ask you to play five times in a row.
On a separate, but related, note, have you frown super tired of watching trailers? This isn’t just Boss Baby I’m talking about, but it is the newest culprit. I, regretfully, watched the trailer for this movie, and I am all the worse for it. Maybe I would have liked the movie a little more if all the funniest parts weren’t in the trailer. I see so many films now where I don’t actually need to watch them. I just go watch the trailer and I can probably pick up the best parts of the movie.
It’s irksome to the point that my favorite movie franchises, and literally anything super-hero related, I will actively avoid the trailers for these films. I understand you have to show some great stuff to get people interested. But so many times these studios overplay their hands and ruin the films. Let’s just say “Spoiler Alert” and “Trailer Alert” have become interchangeable to me.
I’m not going to tell you the movie was an absolute waste of time, I’m not even going to tell you it’s not funny. It is. I just can’t tell you this movie is worth going to your theaters to see. It’s worth a rental, but don’t waste movie-money on this one in theaters or full-price for the Blu-Ray. There are better movies out there, funnier and less-generic and shallow. I’m sorry Boss Baby, but I’m with Tim trying to return you.