Even Cute Babies and Puppies Can’t Save ‘The Boss Baby’

By: Debbie Wang

According to the age old adage, love makes the world go ’round. Except, in the DreamWork’s animation world, there is only a very limited amount of love that can go ’round. Well, whatever will we do if there is only a certain amount of love to give?! Good thing babies are made in a factory in the sky and are divided between family-ready babies and management babies, where the babies that become management are competent enough to be responsible for ensuring that all the other babies get enough love.

In comes Boss Baby (Alex Baldwin), who has to infiltrate 7-year-old Tim Templeton’s (Miles Christopher Bakshi) family. Tim’s parents work for Francis E. Francis (Steve Buscemi), an evil CEO whose company threatens to steal love away from the babies. That’s right. Tim’s parents work for Puppy Co. where Francis’ goal is to make people love puppies more than babies. So even though Tim hates that Boss Baby is stealing all of his parents’ affection, he hates puppy love even more and eventually works with his annoying “brother” to try and take down Francis E. Francis.

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The very core of this film is insulting to the children that are inevitably going to be watching it with their undoubtedly unwilling parents. Obviously the intention of the filmmakers wasn’t to play into the insecurities of children who might have to share the spotlight with a sibling, or furry friend – we do get our happy ending where love saves everything – but the seeds of doubt are planted nonetheless.

If there was ever a film to be less deserving of a Hans Zimmer score, it would be The Boss Baby. Maybe undeserving is a little harsh, but it was definitely a strange fit. So strange, in fact, that it actually created unnecessary dissonance and was more distracting than enhancing. And the rest of the film is the same – various bits and pieces that don’t *quite* fit together and just feels slightly uncomfortable.

No amount of cute babies and puppies, and there was no shortage of cute babies and puppies, or talented voice acting can make up for the thin plot. If you dig deep enough, there’s probably a good, heart-felt takeaway message. But it’s not enough. And to top it all off? Save for one scene where Tim and Boss Baby suck on pacifiers and experience what can only be akin to getting really high, this movie isn’t even all that funny.

Rating: 2.5/10

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