The Boss Baby.
This is the Nine Lives of 2017. It looked cringeworthy and I only wanted to see it so that I could trash it. Is that bad? I know I’m not the demographic for this movie but here’s my two cents.
Imagine a world where some babies, before getting “sent” to a loving family, become bureaucrats in a large business focused on keeping the baby business alive and well. We meet Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) who is sent to a family for a secret mission, though his now older brother (voiced by actual child Miles Bakshi) wants him gone and tries to unveil what Boss Baby’s plan is. The two parents (Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel) have no idea about any of this.
Okay. Here’s the thing. The Boss Baby isn’t horrible. It’s made by Dreamworks, so it’s got a bit of that high quality Kung-Fu Panda feeling but then it also has that Madagascar feeling, where it’s definitely veering for a younger crowd. As an adult, I found it surprisingly clever at times, with Alec Baldwin nailing his role. It’s sharp and witty, like his role from 30 Rock but with jokes about corporate business that kids obviously wouldn’t get.
I also had much more of an emotional response than I would have guessed. This story has heart, plenty of it. The story of our older brother Tim and how he feels unloved by his parents and coming to grips with having a brother is surprisingly resonant.
Let’s discuss visuals. The trailers showed you one aspect of the movie, which looked relatively unimpressive. However, the movie itself is visually pretty incredible, with all sorts of different art styles throughout. When Tim imagines that he’s a ninja, the animation style shifts to a standard 2D animation. It shows off the creativity of a child in a really interesting way.
So this movie will appeal to kids obviously because there are plenty of fart jokes and people getting hit with things. It also will appeal to adults in a lot of ways too. Surprisingly entertaining.
What doesn’t work?
Even if this movie is pleasantly surprising, my expectations were super low. It’s a stupid movie a lot of the time, resorting to fart gags and how gross vomit is and things like that. Adults on their own won’t have a great time here. However, if you have kids, this movie will make them howl with laughter and it will entertain you decently enough.
Here’s the problem as an adult. You want this movie to make sense. And it absolutely doesn’t. There are times when it’s clear that it’s the creativity of a child, so you don’t mind. However, there are times when the actual real events of the movie are so outlandish that your brain hurts trying to understand how it would be possible, especially the climax of the movie.
Again, kids will love this movie because they don’t care at all about that. You might though.
If you have kids, this movie is a home-run. They’ll love it, you’ll laugh. Win-win. There are some solid jokes and plenty of visual appeal to keep you entertained. As an adult though, without kids, you may find this movie just a tad too childish to be entertaining and your brain will hurt from trying to make sense of this movie’s plot. But for kids? It’s awesome. So, recognizing this movie isn’t meant for me, I’m giving it a solid score.