walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Movie Review: Boss Baby

Boss Baby is apparently based on a book. It is a book I am completely unfamiliar with and was unaware of until the end credits of this movie. Sort of like Shrek, that way, for me, anyway.

The frame -- which is not exposed until the end so SPOILERS LOOK OUT PUPPY CO IS GOING TO TAKE ALL THE LOVE -- is that the 7 and a half year old Timothy Leslie within the frame is father Timothy Leslie (with a seven and a half year old daughter of his own) with brother Theodore Lindsey (who still throws cash around). The story is the story of Tim describing getting accustomed to the arrival of Ted -- the Boss Baby -- to reassure the daughter about her new baby sister.

The story itself is that Boss Baby and his crew are here to find out what Puppy Co is about to introduce as a new puppy that might take away the dwindling amount of love available to otherwise motivate people to have and show affection on human babies. This is a cut throat market competition story, and Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross is here to pastiche/homage himself as the Boss Baby.

It is all very surreal.

There are more movie references than I could grasp, much less repeat. Standouts included a substantial Matrix sequence, a bit I suspect was from Catch Me If You Can, a "Scary Poppins" character, more Toy Story bits than can readily be believed. Stacy of the Boss's crew looks exactly like Agnes from Despicable Me.

The deal that Tim and Ted make is that Tim will help Ted accomplish his mission against Puppy Co, and then Ted will be promoted at Baby Co and his employer will come make everyone forget that Ted was ever a baby in the family. Interestingly, after a whole lot of wackiness including a flight full of Elvis Impersonators (and potentially adult jokes like the pacifier being automatically inserted into baby mouths only Boss Baby is turned round the wrong way), the deal is completed and fulfilled on. The family gets retconned or MIB style flashy thinged or whatever you want to call it. Ted gets the corner office he coveted, complete with his own golden potty (which is positioned too far from the TP to be accessible). And then Tim sends Ted a memo saying -- with bean from bean counting representing abacus beads as a metaphor for love -- how much he loves him. Ted joyously sends himself nekkid down the Heart Family chute and Tim recognizes him as soon as the 'rents show him off. Tim knows just how to tickle Ted's feet, and they love each other forever after, well, at least they still are hanging out when Tim's second daughter is born.

I don't quite know what to think of any of this. People in the audience laughed a lot, and my son worried that I didn't like it because I didn't laugh much (I think I chuckled at the fake vomit the kids set up to scare off Scary Poppins). My daughter adored it when she saw it on Friday. On some level, I feel like anyone who has been marinating in movies -- adult and kidvid -- for the last few decades probably owes it to themselves to sit through this just to see how many of the references they can identify. But maybe wait for it to be available streaming. That way you could turn it into a drinking game.
Tags: movie review
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