The Boss Baby movie review: Is this a film or a prank played on audiences?

Mihir Fadnavis

Mar 31, 2017 16:10:47 IST


There’s no other way to say it – The Boss Baby is a really weird movie. It’s hard to describe if this even an actual movie or a prank that the writers and director have played on the audience. In fact I’ll go so far as to describe this as a perfectly bizarre time made by stoners for stoners.

To describe the plot of the film I’ll have to first assure you that I am not joking.

 The Boss Baby movie review: Is this a film or a prank played on audiences?

A still from Boss Baby trailer.

This is a story about a seven-year-old boy named Tim (Miles Bakshi) who is surprised one day to find out that he has a new baby brother at home. The baby, however, is not just an average baby, but Boss Baby, an undercover agent with a secret agenda to investigate the company that Tim’s parents (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) work at.

The company happens to be Puppy Co – a conglomerate that produces incredibly adorable dogs that more and more parents adopt instead of children – an act which is threatening the business of Baby Corp which manufactures babies via assembly lines.

Once you’ve let that plot description sink in, it would be safe for you to assume that writer Michael McCullers was clearly attempting to forge some new form of comedy into this movie.

The stuff that happens in the film is so ridiculous it’s a miracle that a studio was brave enough to green light an animation movie so off kilter.

In one of the least bonkers subplots there is a gang of local baby helpers that join forces with the Boss Baby for play time with the baby – which is actually covert strategy sessions to discuss further corporate espionage. Later, the Puppy Co’s boss, a man named Francis Francis (Steve Buschemi) has nefarious plans to introduce a Forever Puppy which would completely annihilate the need to have something cutesy in the house.

The reason for such insane ideas to exist in this film becomes clear when you realise the writer is also responsible for the Austin Powers movies.

The downside is that once the reveal of the baby’s ‘bossness’ is made, the film continuously depends on that twist to churn out the laughs. Some of it surely works – Alec Baldwin is perfect as the voice of the ambitious, hard talking, over the top corporate Boss Baby in a suit and tie who will stop at nothing to meet his company’s goals.

But there’s an undercurrent of a ‘one joke’ strategy applied to bank on the baby constantly doing more and more ludicrous ‘adult’ things as shock value. The strategy feels like a low hanging fruit for sure, but when the fruit gets you high it’s okay for them to keep dangling it.

While there’s plenty of frantic pacing, energy and color in the film to keep kids entertained it’s difficult to imagine children enjoying this movie as much as their stoner parents would.

There’s not enough heart in the film as much as, say, the equally weird 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' but it’s a more memorable animation movie than Dreamworks’ last few films.

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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2017 11:49:36 IST