The Boss Baby – Movie Review

Well after deriding The Boss Baby for so long, I guess it’s only fitting that I finally had to sit down and watch it.  Such is the life of a parent of a small child but at least I got away with renting it instead of having to buy it. I gave this movie a really hard time in some previous articles but I don’t think I disliked it as much as I thought I would. On the flip side though, it’s still not a great movie by any means. Let’s get into it!

The Boss Baby follows Tim Templeton, a 7 year old boy who loves life, has a big imagination, absolutely loves his parents, and, more importantly, loves having his parents all to himself. And then the worst thing happens – a baby brother (The Boss) shows up. So of course Tim starts to devise every kind of plan imaginable to get rid of this interloper in his house and in doing so, discovers that this new baby is not all that he seems to be.  He can walk and talk like an adult and may just not be new born baby after all…

I think my biggest problem with this movie is that I can’t tell what parts of it are imagined by the main character and which parts are real. It’s established very early on that Tim has an incredibly active imagination and that we, the audience, see what he is imagining as he is playing.  Then the night before The Boss shows up he “wonders” what it would be like to have a baby brother or sister.  Of course the next morning he finds out for real and as the rest of the movie plays out he struggles with adapting to life as a brother instead of being an only child.  Now when my wife and I were watching this, I paused it and turned to her to ask “is this whole movie going to be this kid’s day dream?” and she was about to pose the exact same question to me.  I texted a friend who had already seen it for some insight and she said that “No, it’s not all a day dream” but the fact that both my wife and I had the exact same puzzlement at the exact same time tells me that there was something inherently broken in some of the story telling.  Even after having watched the movie in it’s entirety, as I think back on it, I can’t quite tell what parts were supposed to be “real” and what parts were supposed to be embellished or imagined by the narrator.

Even with my gripes about not being able to discern between fantasy and “reality” in The Boss Baby, I will say that it is a rather imaginative movie. The world of babies that is portrayed is fairly deep and detailed and shows some pretty creative talent.  Also the imagination sequences are pretty elaborate and fun to watch. Seeing how they take the world they build with how babies come into this world and expand that into the overall plot of the movie made for a pretty solid plot line, for a kids movie anyway.  But again, since there were times when I couldn’t tell what was “real” and what was imagined by Tim, I had a hard time connecting with a lot of this movie. However, I know I am not the target audience for a movie like this.  The target audience are the ones who beg and plead for their parents to give in and let them see this movie.  I am, of course, talking about kids.

My daughter is about to turn 4 so this movie is right up her alley. Lot’s of bright, colorful imagery and easy, family friendly humor involving kids that she can relate to (even if she doesn’t know that she is relating to it yet). I will say that my daughter really enjoyed this movie although she didn’t beg to watch it 15 times like she does with other movies (looking at you Frozen…) so while she enjoyed it, I don’t think it stuck with her.  Something to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about buying or renting this one.  There was one part that was problematic for us though. There is a scene where Tim and The Boss get separated from their parents and that sent our daughter into a fit. She’s always been a bit sensitive to kids getting separated from their parents in movie or shows so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to get upset at a scene like that, but it’s something to keep in mind when watching it with your family.

Overall, I don’t think I really enjoyed this movie.  I’m glad my daughter liked it and I’m glad we rented it instead of buying it.  However, with all this being said, I do think that this movie does one thing really really well and that’s illustrate to children that just because Mommy and Daddy have another baby, it doesn’t mean that they love you any less.  My wife and I discussed that aspect of the movie for a while after watching it and, even though I didn’t enjoy the movie, I have to admit that The Boss Baby could be a really great movie to show to kids who are about to become big sisters or big brothers.

Final Rating: C+

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