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Dan's Review: "The Boss Baby" is cute enough

Apr 01, 2017 10:44AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

The Boss Baby - © 2017 - 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks.

The Boss Baby (20th Century Fox/Dreamworks)

Rated PG for some mild rude humor.

Starring (voices of) Alec Baldwin, Miles Christopher Bakshi, Tobey Maguire, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Conrad Vernon.

Written by Michael McCullers, based on The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee.

Directed by Tom McGrath.

GRADE: B+

REVIEW:

Brothers can be such a pain. I’d know, since I had to deal with two “little bothers” (that’s not a typo) in my childhood. Despite the competitive nature that comes with being sibling (and the fact that we did not actually kill each other), I truly loved my brothers, as they were my closest friends and playmates. As adults with kids of our own now, we’re able to look back at our childhood battles with affection, and a little clarity. Brotherhood and family love are the core messages of The Boss Baby, an animated feature film from Dreamworks in theaters this weekend.

Alec Baldwin voices the Boss Baby, a corporate executive of BabyCorp, a fantasy factory world where “babies come from” (no storks in this movie, but kind of the same kid-patronizing idea that eliminates icky, biological procreation from the picture). BabyCorp is facing a production crisis, as more parents are opting to raise puppies over children. Boss Baby is sent to pose as the new baby of Ted and Janice Templeton (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow), and the little brother of Tim (Miles Bakshi). The older brother immediately suspects that the new brother is not normal, and acts out aggressively when his parents give the baby most of their attention. Tim also discovers that Boss Baby can talk and is using the family as cover for his mission to root out a scheme to completely replace babies with puppies. Despite their competitive rivalry, the brothers join forces to thwart a corporate effort to manufacture dogs that sty puppies their entire lives. Tim’s motivation is to get the mission over with, so that he can go back to being an only child. As the boys put up a united front, they are forced to spend time together, and build a real relationship. When the mission is over, they are not sure about the original motivation to separate.

The Boss Baby has several gags that work, but none that you haven’t seen already, especially relative to babies (lots of “poopy diaper” jokes) and corporate hierarchy. Baldwin’s comedic ability and persona especially comes through, playing the soulless businessman with high aspirations at the expense of others. Some may see the movie as “Trump” metaphor, since Baldwin often plays the president on Saturday Night Live, but his characterization is much closer to the role he played on 30 Rock.

In the end, The Boss Baby is a movie about love, family and the bond between brothers. It’s a simple, yet sweet message, and even though the movie can be a little too silly at times, The Boss Baby is cute enough to keep around, just like my own little brothers were.


The Boss Baby Trailer

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