Boss Baby

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

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If you ever wondered what an Alpha Male Type A infant might look like, then “The Boss Baby” based on a children’s book by Marla Frazee and directed by Thomas McGrath (Madagascar) is your film. This animated film is lively, amusing and colorful and chock full of pop culture references.

Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at seven year old Timmy’s house and lays down the rules. Timmy (Tobey Mcguire) is flabbergasted. This new arrival wears a dark suit and tie and carries a briefcase. Almost immediately he calls a meeting with other neighborhood newbies explaining that the popularity of babies is under attack by the ever increasing cuteness of puppies.

Suffice to say, this is not your average adorable infant.

Imaginative Timmy is driven to get to the bottom of things.

Baldwin has great fun with his voice role and it shows. His wee Wall Street carnivore is nothing less than a Baby Trump, complete with a glazed over-stuffed face and tiny hands. Entertaining it is when an arrogant voiced Baldwin explains the Boss Baby’s own version of Adam Smith’s macroeconomics. The pie is no longer big enough and there is only so much love to go around. 

This Boss Baby wants to make babies loveable again.

The main joke is of course, the newborn being able to march in one second, his face stern and dour, only to be distracted and babbling at the next, as in a skit from “SNL”. This is a very loaded image and it contains much comic mileage. There are various cinema spoofs from “Paranormal Activity” to “The Exorcist”. The over-stressed, manipulative, boardroom baby scenes are quite clever and no one else could pull it off as well as Alec Baldwin. 

Quite frankly and with no irony intended, he seems born for this part.

It is only at the last quarter where the film wobbles and loses its footing, as Timmy and The Boss battle against Francis (Steve Buscemi) a cutthroat CEO of Puppy Co. There is much crawling and wailing amid numerous gadgets and near escapes. After a few minutes, it is all a scream.

Through the clamor, the Aldous Huxley hijinks makes sense and is almost heartfelt in the tradition of “Pinocchio” and “The Wizard of Oz”.

The best ingredient of “The Boss Baby” is its free-wheeling humor mostly within the beginning segments. Fans of Alec Baldwin will be well served as he covers it all from pop technology, current social mores and his usage of quasi-political quips. And all while exercising a surprising amount of scatological restraint.

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