The Boss Baby (2017)

Near as I can figure, “The Boss Baby” is about a young boy with a wild imagination who uses his daydreams and fantasies to exaggerate life. When he learns of a new baby entering his household and ruining his rituals, he basically has a psychotic break. He imagines a humongous scenario where nothing makes sense, nothing is funny, and the baby about to enter his house is a part of a bigger purpose. It’s not just replacing him, but is a businessman on a mission who has more intellect than he can ever hope to have. “The Boss Baby” wouldn’t be so bad if it were just a derivative take on “Look Who’s Talking Too” or “The Rugrats Movie.” It just gets bogged down in to so much stale comedy and convoluted storytelling it becomes white noise.

There’s stuff about Elvis impersonators, and dogs being used to replace babies, and babies using magic bottles to become sentient adult like beings for some reason. There really isn’t a reliable source of narration in “The Boss Baby” so we’re basically led on a path of, what I can assume are the ramblings of a very weird young man. Tim Templeton is a boy with a wild imagination who learns that his parents are going to have a new baby. Said baby arrives in a taxi, in a business suit, and can talk like a grown man. Tim is suspicions of the new baby’s intentions toward him and seeks to show his parents what he’s capable of, but the new baby has other ideas. He is there to stay, but is also there for the parents who work for a dog company. He’s trying to find out how they’re planning to help use puppies to replace babies.

By doing so, they travel to Vegas for a big demonstration. While traveling, Tim and the Boss Baby have to learn to work together and nothing ever really makes a ton of sense. It can be assumed that Tim’s entire story is him exaggerating and making up a lot of fantastic ideas for the sake of the big reveal in the finale. But then when Tim begins having fantasies with the baby within the fantasies, I was never quite sure if Tim concocted these scenarios, or if this all actually happened. The truth is the writers never really seem to know, either, and considering how big the movie has fared, I assume we’ll likely have four more movies of Boss Baby and big brother Tim taking on some lame foe. A lot of “The Boss Baby” is so dull and tedious, with none of the humor really landing, save for a passing reference to “Glengarry Glenn Ross.”

Alec Baldwin seems to have a good time in the role, while everyone else are generally forgettable, including Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel, both of whom aren’t able to contribute much of anything. “The Boss Baby” is a droning, nonsensical excuse for family fare that even small kids might eventually grow tired of. It feels like it was conceived out of a one line joke someone threw around at a pitch meeting at Dreamworks. If anything, “The Boss Baby” writes itself in to such a corner, I’m kind of interested to see what approach Dreamworks will use with a sequel, if we do manage to get one.

  • Hero2099

    Do you feel like Dreamworks movies starting to become a lot more aimed at kids than usual? I know they’re target audience is for kids but there doesn’t seem to be a leaning towards kids and adults like with Kung Fu Panda and the Dragon films.

    • FlixtheCat

      They’re like Pixar. They have their great movies, but have to also kowtow to broader kid based crap. For every Wall E and Up, Pixar has Cars, which is their cash cow.