By Adam Ray Palmer
Today’s review comes courtesy of a ‘lazy Sunday’ at the Phoenix Leicester, a movie offering where you can have a bit of brunch too – what’s not to love? The movie perhaps…
Directed by Tom McGrath and written by Michael McCullers; The Boss Baby stars Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow.
Seven-year-old Tim (voiced by Miles Christopher Bakshi) has a cushy life with his two parents (Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel). There’s family jokes, bedtime stories and their own song, well, The Beatles’ Blackbird. All the joy stops when the arrival of the boss baby (Alec Baldwin), a suit-wearing, briefcase-toting mini-manager, proceeds to turn Tim's household upside down.
Tim’s parents notice a minimal amount of disruption caused by the baby, largely down to being sleep-deprived. Tim realises something isn’t quite right, especially when the baby talks, holds meetings and hatches a plan to save BabyCorp HQ (who he has been sent from) as Puppy Co. (Tim’s parents’ place of work) are about to ruin BabyCorp’s future. If Boss Baby can find out what Puppy Co. has planned -- and stop it -- the corner office will be his. But he'll need Tim's help to carry out his mission, and Tim isn't exactly motivated by profits and promotions.
Alec Baldwin as a baby, a baby with attitude, is something I didn’t know I always wanted to see. The Boss Baby (character) is ruthless, comical and crude. To be honest, probably a little too crude for an audience with kids at times – it’s certainly a film that parents can enjoy. The script in general is generously witty, with clever lines and unexpected twists. But the runtime is crazily overlong and becomes a chore after 80 minutes.
During a few sequences, I could feel myself drifting out of interest so I can only assume children would be doing the same. If it wasn’t for a few comical twists and ‘Wizzie’ the hilarious Gandalf-like alarm clock, The Boss Baby (film) would certainly not be as well-received.
Don’t get me wrong, The Boss Baby will make you giggle. There’s certain scenes that will make you chuckle aloud, such as Tim telling Boss Baby that his parents wrote him his bedtime song ‘Blackbird’; with Boss Baby quipping back “are your parents called Lennon and McCartney?” – that’s certainly one for the parents.
The movie is sure to give families with siblings a way to talk about the challenges of being an older brother or sister -- with the nice reassurance that there's always enough love to go around. That will be the key takeaway for those families who struggle with sibling rivalry. Sure, there’s always going to be a bit of give and take, but parents can see how sometimes growing up in a competitive relationship can be problematic. On the other hand, screw it, choose your favourite and back that one.
Cineroom’s Rating: 2.5 Stars
The Boss Baby screened at the Phoenix Leicester and UK-wide this month – certificate PG