Bitty Boss lack­ing bite

Rutherglen Reformer - - Bereavement -

Co­me­dian-turned-box of­fice movie star Melissa McCarthy is in ac­quired taste.

Per­haps it’s no sur­prise when you take a look at her up-and-down CV; for every hit and like­able turn such as Brides­maids and Spy there’s duds that in­clude Tammy and Iden­tity Thief.

For her fifth big screen lead role, the 45-yearold res­ur­rects a char­ac­ter she orig­i­nally cre­ated years ago at the Groundlings com­edy troupe – the 47th rich­est woman in the world, Michelle Dar­nell.

The ruth­less en­tre­pre­neur ends up spend­ing time be­hind bars for in­sider trad­ing and she faces a bat­tle to win back her suc­cess, and the re­spect of her friends and col­leagues.

McCarthy re-teams with hus­band – and her Tammy di­rec­tor – Ben Fal­cone and the cou­ple of para­graphs above pretty much ac­counts for most of the script co-writ­ten by her other half and de­but scribe Steve Mal­lory.

The rest of the time is spent let­ting their lead star off the leash with her most out­ra­geous cre­ation to date. Dar­nell works best when dish­ing out caus­tic put­downs and de­liv­er­ing dev­il­ishly hon­est sales pitches.

Her time in prison and at­tempts at de­liv­er­ing re­demp­tive story arcs to make the char­ac­ter more sym­pa­thetic fall flat and Fal­cone and Mal­lory would’ve been wiser to stick with a Dirty Rot­ten Scoundrels-style black com­edy ap­proach for the en­tire 99-minute run­ning time.

Dar­nell feels like she would be bet­ter suited to a short, Satur­day Night Live com­edy sketch rather than be­ing stretched out to a full-length fea­ture film.

It’s just as well, then, that The Boss is no onewoman show, and in its sup­port­ing cast the movie finds some of its mojo.

Kris­ten Bell (Claire) – who has quickly be­come a hugely re­li­able pres­ence in the com­edy genre – lets McCarthy in­flict all sorts of ver­bal abuse on her, but shines through as the film’s true heart.

Just about steal­ing the show, though, is Game of Thrones’ Peter Din­klage as Dar­nell’s ex-lover Re­nault. The vain cor­po­rate shark may be a long way from Tyrion Lan­nis­ter aes­thet­i­cally, but shares his love for ver­bal joust­ing and schem­ing plots.

The Boss is far from a laugh-free zone and peaks with a mem­o­rably mad show­down in­volv­ing two groups of ri­val Girl Scouts that wouldn’t look out of place in an An­chor­man movie.

How­ever, other gags range from throw­away and in­con­sis­tent to down­right un­funny and the mid-sec­tion goes down­hill faster than Ed­die the Ea­gle wear­ing a jet pack.

Some come­dies can en­dure the in­tro­duc­tion of gooey schmaltz but The Boss isn’t one of them as Fal­cone fails to learn from the mis­takes made with Tammy.

The re­sult is an un­even hotch­potch of ideas and tonal shifts as in­con­sis­tent as McCarthy’s ca­reer path.

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