“The Boss Baby’”
“The Boss Baby” plays like one of those films that started out with a simple, zero-commondenominator pitch, then got hopelessly garbled en route to the big screen. It probably began with seven simple words: “What if a baby was a boss?” Luckily, at some point enough people realized that was stupid even for a stupid kids’ movie. But in trying to make it smart, they overcompensated. As so, we have what “The Baby Boss” really is, which is the most convoluted, bizarre story since “Collateral Beauty.” Trying to explain the plot at parties will make you feel like you’re on acid.
First off, he’s not really a boss baby. He’s Templeton (voice of Alec Baldwin), and like all babies in the alternate dimension of “The Boss Baby,” he was created in a secret factory. Most babies are sent off to families to live normal baby lives, adults nonethe-wiser. Templeton was chosen to be part of “management,” shipped off to a corporation called “BabyCorp,” where talking, smart babies work hard to make sure adults still have babies. Or something. It’s a little vague. Templeton aspires to be CEO, and so he elects to pose as a regular, non-smart baby to stop an epidemic that has more people buying cute puppies than they are pooping out cute babies. (Is this even a real trend?)
Sometimes “The Boss Baby” plays like a parody of modern mainstream cinema’s weird yen for impossibly dense mythologies, where even a simple story about a toddler walking around in a suit has to spend half its length explaining the plot. The good news is that it’s also frequently charming, even delightful. The story is told not by Templeton, but by Tim (Miles Christopher Bakshi), a 7-year-old suburbanite. Tim admits to having an overactive imagination, and his tale purports to delve into his anxieties over having a younger brother, much less one that in private speaks with the voice of our current reigning Trump impersonator. (Speaking of which, the Trumpisms are, alas, devastatingly low, though Templeton is definitely the better businessman.) It’s a beautifully made film. It just doesn’t make any sense.
The Alec Baldwin-voiced runt in “The Boss Baby” looks downright presidential.