Film review by Jason Day of The Boss Baby, the Dreamworks animated movie about a new baby in a loving family who has big plans. With the voice of Alec Baldwin.
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Seven year old Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi) is an only child but is blissfully happy living with his adoring parents (Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow). His contentment is destroyed when one day a mysterious, suit-wearing, briefcase-wielding baby appears out of a taxi. Tim soon discovers that the baby can talk and is working with a team of others to topple the world-love domination of puppies. If too much love goes to puppies people will no longer love babies, threatening the whole world. Despite loathing each other, Tim and Boss Baby must put their animosity aside and team up to restore love to the human race.
Review, by Jason Day
Its a universal struggle all children must face when Mum and Dad have other babies: accepting they are no longer the only apple of their parents eyes and that the love will now be shared.
Its a struggle I more than likely faced myself when a little sister arrived in the world, though my memory is mostly blank on the subject.
Much later in life, I witnessed a very amusing example when my three year old nephew attempted to wrench his newborn sister from their mother’s breast, annoyed this new addition was interrupting his mum-time.
It is also a smart central conceit for a fantasy storyline, but then you would expect nothing less from Dreamworks Animation, the team behind the clever Madagascar and Shrek films.
This production is as sleek and well-oiled as leading voice Alec Baldwin himself, even starting with a swish musical number as babies are dispatched from heaven-knows-where to parents on the ground. Fred Astaire croons ‘Cheek to Cheek’ in the background.
Baldwin, whose baby character resembles in more ways than one the real estate, boiler room hatchet man he portrayed so terrifyingly in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), replete with rolex watch glinting in the CGI light. He even gets to alliterate his famous coffee based line from that film: “Cookies are for closers”
It goes without saying that the film is his, he gets our:
Attention – from the outset
Interest – is maintained throughout
Decision – is to keep watching
Action – from the audience is to laugh
Bakshi as his older brother and Buscemi as an evil former baby out to wreak revenge do well to register an impact.
The filmmakers add lots of references for the adults (jumping sound effects from TV’s Bionic Woman, the apparatus from the old Mousetrap board game is used to trap Tim and Baby Boss) and there are inventive threads to the narrative, including a puppy producer that would surely warrant an investigation from ASPCA (puppies on balloons?)
I was thoroughly entertained by The Boss Baby but noted a dip in the quantity of all-out laughs. This is a very funny film, but only at times. Please up the laugh quota in your next one Dreamworks!
Cast & credits
Director: Tom McGrath. 98 mins. Dreamworks SKG. (U)
Producer: Ramsey Ann Naito.
Writer: Michael McCullers.
Music: Steve Mazzaro, Hans Zimmer.
Alec Baldwin, Miles Bakshi, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, James McGrath, Conrad Vernon, ViviAnn Yee, Eric Bell Jr.