The Boss Baby: When Jack Donaghy Doesn’t Have Tina Fey Writing For Him

The Boss Baby is a 2017 animated film directed by Tom McGrath, written by Michael McCullers, based on the book of the same name written by Marla Frazee and stars Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Bakshi and Tobey Maguire. The film follows a baby whose goal is to sabotage PuppyCorp’s newest puppy launch. Because this new puppy would make babies obsolete because babies wouldn’t be considered cute enough to have anymore. (Yeah, that’s… I just said that… WOW).


Look, I know the movie is titled The Boss Baby and one can expect only so much from a film that has a baby wearing a suit who is voiced by Alec Baldwin. I screwed my “evolutionist” brain out and put it aside when the primary plot of this film was unveiled. I should have done it earlier owing to the talking baby but hey, I’ve seen Rugrats and that show was pretty solid. The Boss Baby is fun and funny if one just knows what he/she is getting into. Is this as bad as a Smurfs film? No. Is this Toy Story? No. Is this a middling animated film which will keep your kids and the kid in you mildly entertained for the better part of two hours? Maybe.

Alec Baldwin is always awesome as a voice actor. His unique diction and silky voice have the perfect combination of suave and authoritarian which make for perfectly believable characters who wield power. His character is almost perfectly offset by the character of the older brother. The chemistry between the two carries the movie the best it can and is the source of a few good chuckles. Ma and Pa are tacked on characters who lack a brain stem at best. They are blissfully unaware and unreactive to any situation their kids find themselves in. They question nothing and show lesser concern. They are mere generic cutouts of “parental” figures the kids in the audience can connect to.


All these aspects are well and good and are adequately distracting even if they are not breaking new ground. The issues arise when the film tries to have a plot and create a world. The rules of many of the things the film throws out are not quite well established. The film draws a few (thin) lines of logic at its humble beginning to make for some humor and build a world. But these lines are quickly erased when the film writes itself into corners. I’m looking at you third-act.

There is a distinct lack of effort once a certain binky-sucking plot element is introduced. The movie throws itself into a gigantic loop of predictability and uses tried and tested humor which is considered trite at this point. The morals become obvious, the forgettable bad guy and his motivations come screaming out of the screen and the narrative the film will follow mirrors that of a cheap romantic comedy. This is not to say the film had no wit, charm or humor beyond this moment but the film does suffer from all the aforementioned issues which drown out anything fun it has to offer.


After saying all that, the film is titled The Boss Baby and I saw it. I have no complaints because I did not expect much from it. Maybe, that’s the way to watch this film. Go in knowing that it won’t make much logical sense, it’ll have some scatological humor for them kids in the audience, it’ll bastardize a few of Alec Baldwin’s classic lines and it’ll try to Pixar or Studio Ghibli it’s way to an emotional ending but will fall way short. Yeah, now that’s the perfect assessment of a film where a few laughs will be had but not much of it shall be remembered.

OVERALL SCORE – 2-25-stars

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