Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2017. DreamWorks Animation. Screenplay by Michael McCullers, based on the book by Marla Frazee. Produced by Ramsey Ann Naito. Music by Steve Mazzaro, Hans Zimmer. Film Editing by James Ryan. Academy Awards 2017. Golden Globe Awards 2017. North Carolina Film Critics Awards 2017.
A young boy’s perfect life as the top priority of his loving parents is dashed when they come home from the hospital with that most horrific of surprises, a baby brother. Devastated at their ignoring him in favour of this creature who is in constant need of attention, Tim suspects something shady is responsible for this creature, and his fears are verified when he overhears his infant brother drop the baby talk while speaking on his Fisher Price phone and instead speak to unseen cohorts in an adult male voice (performed by a magnificent Alec Baldwin). Convinced that his brother is a spy, Tim tries to inform his parents of this treachery but they assume it’s just sibling rivalry, so he tries to thwart the little guy on his own and only makes things worse. Eventually, he and this “Boss Baby” make peace and the smaller combatant reveals his actual end goal: he’s from the headquarters for baby production, where employees are in a panic over the increasing trend of people getting cute little puppies instead of having babies, and if he can reverse the trend he’ll climb the corporate ladder and win his dream of the corner office (complete with golden potty). Tim realizes that helping his little brother accomplish his dream will also mean his going away, so they go undercover to infiltrate Puppy Co. and topple its leader. Despite having a ludicrous plot (a great deal of it copied from The Incredibles and Meet The Robinsons) which, even in the world of fantastical animated films that anthropomorphize the most unlikely subjects stretches all manner of logic, this perpetually funny charmer is kept aloft by endlessly inventive sequences and an irresistible tone of sassy humour, externally dramatizing the woes of sibling rivalry without the self-importance of Inside Out. Baldwin’s delivery truly is the best asset of this comedy, the sound of his self-effacing gusto coming from a baby in a suit and tie something that is hysterically funny throughout.