The Boss Baby Review

The odds of Alec Baldwin being cast as the eponymous role in this just for a pun on his bit-part brilliance in Glengarry Glen Ross is rather the coincidence. Cookies, as The Boss Baby himself puts it, “are for closers.” Closers of what, though? Closers of the browser that hosts this horridly animated piece of filth and terror? The Boss Baby garnered attention more because of its application to meme culture and meandering children than it ever did for its style or its substance. “What adventure lies in wait for you today?” asks an alarm clock. Who knows? Who cares? The Boss Baby certainly has adventure at its heart, but one that does not quite grip the mettle of its meaning or story, instead focusing on some destitute desire of being both funny and sentimental at the same time. It is one or the other. Take it or leave it. 

We rebel from a young age. That is seemingly the initial message The Boss Baby takes in its opening. But its comedy overtakes such a sentiment. Those babies that are a little different are bound for management, not family. They do not giggle when tickled. They do not wish to wear soft socks. Because of this, they are shipped off and away to some horrid little cubicle in the middle of some distant land where babies are born and shipped off like tins of beans to families who desire them. Baldwin and this all-star cast are fine enough, but the introduction of The Boss Baby is both comical and cold.  

When a sibling is born, kicking and screaming into the world, it is hard for the elder brother or sister to feel anything that is not jealousy. I am too young to remember the birth of my brother and too drunk to remember much else, but I doubt my feelings towards him were any different than that of Tim Templeton (Miles Bakshi) toward Theodore Templeton (Baldwin). Tim is, of course, in the right. A baby has shown up out of nowhere wearing a rather dapper suit (Armani, perhaps Hugo Boss. At a push, Paul Smith.) and nobody seems to care or question it. They have adopted a baby without so much as considering the paperwork or lifestyle change needed. Theodore shows up, takes control and his abilities as more than a baby are made obvious to everyone in the audience. How the rest of these characters are unaware is beyond me, and never explained by director Tom McGrath. 

Not quite the benchmark for either comedy or quality, The Boss Baby is unmemorable at the best of times, and ineffective at its worst. Attempting some level of variety in its colour and animation, it is too fluid and clean and slick to be anything at all that could be considered heartfelt. Dreamworks drop the ball on this once, but, to their credit, the ball was grounded to begin with. There is no way of circumventing the awkwardly positioned Baldwin performance, the ineffective animation that wishes to showcase the abject terror of receiving a younger sibling, or the power of the number three can overcome the ineffective lack of quality. The Banal Baby. There. Aimless in its entirety, with forgettable characters that are, no doubt, set to reappear in future sequels and instalments.  

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