Friday, May 19, 2017

The Charming Novelty of 'The Boss Baby' Wears Off Quickly

I found the trailers for The Boss Baby charming.  The concept of a baby having the mentality of an adult, shady executive and voiced by Alec Baldwin seems to be hilariously adorable on paper.  A lot of the trailer’s featured gags worked.  I particularly liked the meta-joke referencing Baldwin’s role in Glengarry Glen Rose.

The Boss Baby centers on Tim (Miles Bakshi), a 7-year-old boy with a hyper imagination, who revels in the love and attention of his parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow).  One day, Tim is perplexed when a mysterious baby in a suit suddenly shows up.  He’s further confused when his parents refer to him as his baby brother.  From then on, his parents focus more on the baby, and he feels neglected.  Things only get weirder for Tim when he discovers that the baby can actually talk (Alec Baldwin) and is on a mission to stop puppies from taking love away from babies.
Watching it, I found that the “boss baby” concept is just endearing in small dosage – in a trailer or a short film – for in a feature-length movie, it quickly gets stale.  In fact, almost all of the highlights are seen in the trailers already.

A well-written script could have elevated this movie when the novelty of its premise wears off, but the plot is absolutely stupid and ridiculous.  The only thing that kept the wobbly story from derailing into a trainwreck is that the “unreliable narrator” trope is introduced right off the bat, and it somewhat helps justify the ongoing nonsense happening on the screen.  Still, I left this movie feeling my suspension for disbelief and lenience for dumb cartoon elements strained to their limits.
The Boss Baby has its share of funny, adorable, and heartwarming moments.  But it isn’t really the kind of animated movie that will appeal to everyone in the family, regardless of age.  Kids will certainly be entertained, but more mature, sophisticated moviegoers may not have the patience to sit through it.

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