Hello, Spongey here.
General Review time again! Sorry you had to wait til the end of the month, I wanted to cover some others but you know, money and all that. I had to skip out on Power Rangers, but I’m totally there for Alec Baldwin as a baby!
Yeah, my need to do all the animated films is weird sometimes. But I wanna make this intro short so let’s get to the movie. Dreamworks is in a weird spot now, hopefully what they have in the store in the future is good.
This year will be odd as both of the films they have for this year are silly ones, while they usually have at least one semi serious one. Even in both these movies are good, that is odd. But I’m not here to say if or if not they’;ll be good going forward, I just wanna look at this movie.
Everyone was bashing it just based on the early trailers, but I didn’t have much of a reaction. Mostly because I didn’t know the real plot as the trailers aren’t saying much beyond the idea. It’s dumb but Dreamworks has made dumb idea work before.
I did learn more but I didn’t care enough to really judge. Then the early reviews came in and I got more worried. Not all were awful but not many have been impressed so far. It’s got a 41 on RT but frankly that means nothing, as Power Rangers has like 40 something but most of the reviewers I happen to follow like it, which really confused me.
Doubt this will be the same case.
It’s based on a picture boo I’ve never heard of, but I doubt it has too much to do with it. The writer has contributed to Austin Powers 2 and 3, Baby Mama, and Thunderbirds….An odd track record.
Our director has the Dreamworks films Madagascar and Megamind, which I happen to like. This gives me some level of hope, but let’s see if that hope is founded. Will this grow up to be a big boy, or should it be fired? Let’s see.
This, is The Boss Baby
Some computer animated films nowadays try to be more cartoon-y, to sort of make up for the lack of 2D animated films. Some do it very well, others do not. I bring this up because this movie really goes for that style, as it is very classic cartoon like with it’s animation. There’s even a Mr Magoo nod in there.
And honestly, it works! The animation is really well done in this. For one, they use 2D animation for Tim’s fantasy sequences and they are very well done with great use of lighting to make it look differently from the CG world.
Speaking of, the CG character animation is good too. It’s very cartoon-y but they don’t go too overboard. The designs look a tad off in the clips, but in the actual film, they fit the style the film is going for.
The background are decent. Only a few stand out like Babycorp but they’re not supposed to amazingly flash-y anyway. There’s not a whole lot to complain about, except it did all make wish this was just all 2D but of course that wasn’t gonna happen.
As it it, it captures a 2D feel very well with some strong character animation and good use of stylized 2D. The animators deserve credit for their solid work here, regardless of how the rest turns out.
Tim’s idea life with his parents changes when his new baby brother arrives, who acts a lot like a boss. He takes over Tim’s life but more problem arise once when he finds out why Boss Baby here and they must team up to stop a threat.
The writing for this movie is…interesting. The movie starts with narration from an Adult Version of Tim, telling this story, as he remembers it. That tell you right away this movie is from the perspective of a child who has an overactive imagination.
So everything is his head, right? That’s the confusing part. They leave it ambitious as to how much is happening….too ambiguous. The best we get is Tim saying this is how he remembers it, but that’s not good enough.
As it is, there’s waaay too many questions in terms of how this world works. Not spoiling too much but the explanation of how babies come to be is odd, especially as we see Tim’s Mom being pregnant. So is the explanation they give real or not?
Speaking of, Mom told Tim about where babies come from. First off, you know for kids and 2nd, what parent tells a kid that young that about that stuff?!
Questions like this keep popping up and it’s kinda distracting. In one scene, Tim and Boss Baby have a high speed chase in a toy car but it cuts to the parents, who only see the car gong slow like a real toy car would and it’s not the high speed chase we see.
But only a minute later, Tim starts up a big action scene with other babies, and the parents see this and we see that actually happened from their POV. Again, how much is real?!
I like the idea of it being a kids imagination but it could have been done better. It is possible to shut off your brain and get into the crazy situation but when you do, what’ there is….eh. Not horrid by any means, but rather average.
There are some cute moments but the relationship between the two is fairly rushed. Including the all too obligatory scene near Act 3 where they spoilers, part ways only to come back. Actually, not a spoiler because EVERY KIDS MOVIE EVER has this scene. Even good ones!
The story itself hits all the expected beats which would fine if it was executed better. This leads into my other big problem : The pacing. It’s way too fast for it’s own good, not letting too much sink in. This can work in some scenes but most of time, it really hurts the overall story.
It was hard to wrap my head around a lot of the ideas because it was going so fast, almost to make up for the lack of logic. It does not do so. As for the comedy, it’s eh too. There’s some good jokes but the main gag of Alec Baldwin as a baby gets old quick and of course there’s the expected immature humor.
I can appreciate the main goal of this movie but I think stuff like The LEGO Movie pulled it off way better. The logic isn’t perfect there but it’s more clear what is going on and of course it’s a lot funnier.
Still better than Sharkboy and Lavagirl though.
Overall, the writing is fairly messy with not committing to wether or not this is really going on, and either way the story is typical with the expected gags. There’s some good ideas here, but it was better off a short film rather than an hour plus movie where they gotta fit in some big adventure with a typical villain.
It’s pretty …eh.
This will be short, as the two leads are the only ones that matter. So let’s quickly mention the others. The parents, voiced by Jimmy Kemmel and Lisa Kudrow, are just there. They aren’t meant to much more so I can let it slide. Jimmy Kimmel is typical pointless Celeb casting though.
Then there is the villain. Can’t say much due to spoilers but he’s eh. They try to give him a backstory but the idea for it is better than the execution. They brush over it and he’s mostly typical.
We also have some babies that help out Boss Baby but there’s not much to them, and the villain has a typical dumb muscle goon. Yeah. So onto our main characters, Tim and Boss Baby, voiced by Alec Baldwin. Yes, they only call him boss baby.
Like everyone else, Tim is pretty typical. He’s not hate able at least but there’s just not a lot to him. If the writing overall was stronger there’s be more they could fall back on with him but as it is, he’s just there.
Then there’s the real star Boss Baby. He is arguably the most developed character with his backstory and how he grows to like Tim but his main shtick got old fast and his development is as rushed as everything else.
I’m not saying this gag can’t work but they fall back on it too much and don’t really replace it with much else. Their relationship is rushed, even if there are at least attempts for nice moments here and there. He can work fine sometimes but is mostly…eh.
The characters are like most of the rest of the film. Not really bad but nothing above…okay. They put a little too much effort into make everything crazy and not enough into making a solid relationship or anything else.
So yeah, once again, eh.
The Boss Baby isn’t as bad as feard due to some creative ideas and strong animation, but it’s mostly just okay. They can’t decide what’s real or not, leading to a very confusing script that’s just typical fare at it’s core, with characters to match. It’s perfectly serviceable for kids, even if some of the business talk will go over their heads, but for adults, there’s many better choices out there.
It’s about on part with Trolls. Fine-ish but not that good either. Both are weaker Dreamworks entries but still not the worst. There’s just so many better movies that do similar things. If you a better reflection of childhood, check out The LEGO Movie, and if you a want a better movie about someone bonding with their new baby brother, watch The Rugrats Movie.
It’s sadly fairly average. On some level it had potential and it is harmless, but it just didn’t quite work for me. A tad better than the RT score might make you think, but I wouldn’t recommend it to adults. There is better stuff for kids, but there’s far worse too.
They tried to be certain but for the most part, it’s all….eh.
OVERALL: C (Slightly subject to change)
2 Dreamworks films in a row I find Average. I really hope Captain Underpants is good. Next review is actually next week and it’s another animated one. All I have to say about it: PLEASE BE SMURFIN’ GOOD.