The release of a new animated feature almost always creates disdain in the inner black void that is my soul. Every single animated movie I saw last year, except for Kubo and the Two Strings of course, garnered a 4 or 5 out of 10 for me. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest one is that children’s animated movies always, ALWAYS over-encumber themselves with an uncontrollable amount of humor, to a point where it seems like they’re throwing a bunch of jokes up against the wall without any sort of self-awareness as to WHY something is funny in the first place. Even The Lego Batman Movie, which I liked, is guilty of this.
So does The Boss Baby follow this trend? Yes.
Does that mean that it’s unwatchable? No.
Though the start is rocky, The Boss Baby actually executes enough successful jokes and has a good enough premise to merit at least one viewing of it.
The voice acting is nothing to praise or complain about, but Alec Baldwin does deserve a few compliments. His voice acting is oftentimes humorous, and he has the perfect sound for the jerky corporate business type.
But the real protagonist to this story is Tim, the older “brother”. Much to my surprise, the chemistry and relationship between the two siblings does have enough depth to be interesting and worthwhile. Is their relationship something that’s groundbreaking? Of course it isn’t. In fact, the whole story itself is rather by-the-book with few surprises, but the movie brings enough to the table to bypass this fact.
As I said before up top, the movie often trips over its own heels with just how funny it constantly tried to be. Not only that, but it oftentimes throws realism out the window, so much so that the byproduct of this on an average, non-child audience member is to lose interest.
However, there is a built-in excuse this movie made for itself: Tim’s hyper-imagination. There were many times where I was frustrated with the movie’s ridiculousness, but then I remembered that interpreting this film with the lens of Tim’s imagination justifies this ridiculousness.
In fact, the movie almost seems to be metaphorical. I know this sounds really dumb for me to say this about a kid’s animation, but the film’s whole series of events has multiple interpretations. Is Tim just imagining this all as a way to cope with not being an only child anymore? Or is this really happening, and this is just happening to a boy with a hyper-imagination? What I liked even more about this movie is that it doesn’t shove the multiple interpretations in your face; it seems to almost be for the adults who are paying attention.
There are a few moments where the movie tries to be sad or heartfelt, but they fall flat on their face because the movie can’t help itself with immediately following up these heartfelt moments with slapstick and humor. Thankfully, there are a few of these scenes at the end that don’t get sabotaged in this way, but if they were able to do that with ALL of the moments instead of just the last few, then this movie would have been even better.
With all that said, I did enjoy this movie for a slight majority of the time. There are many elements in the story and the humor execution that make the rest of its idiocy forgivable, but if this movie had some freaking self-control, then the film would have been completely recommendable.
I do have to commend The Boss Baby for at least giving a reason as for why the movie is constantly dumb, idiotic, and try-too-hard-to-be-funny, but that still doesn’t fully excuse its lack of self control. But hey, every single kid who watched this movie in the theater with me loved it. They laughed during most of the jokes and were non-disruptive for most of the movie. Thankfully, there were also some laughs to be had for people like me. It’s not going to appear on my “Best of 2017” article, but hey, at least I can say that I liked it.
6 out of 10