Guest Post: Casey Donovan / Student at Chapman University, Dodge College
Throughout the history of cinema, there have been but a few bonafide masterpieces. These are the films that define generations and ultimately shape the world of film as a whole. While speculation about where modern films will rank in comparison to these keystone films will continue to divide film enthusiasts, I think everyone with even the slightest bit of respect for the silver screen will agree: “The Boss Baby” may be the single greatest work of cinema to ever grace humanity.
I went into the movie theater last Sunday with admittedly low expectations for the new DreamWorks Animations flick, and came out a changed man.
“The Boss Baby” not only exceeded my expectations, but eclipsed the bounds of cinema itself to create a transcendental narrative experience, the likes of which I had never faced before. Director Tom McGrath and screenwriter Michael McCullers collaborate to make easily one of the best and most original films of the year, and perhaps the century.
The story follows young Tim Templeton as he struggles to adjust to life with a new baby brother, but things take an unexpected twist when Tim discovers his new brother is an undercover businessman from Baby Corp., trying to infiltrate and defeat their competitor, Puppy Co. Tim and Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) must team up and take down Puppy Co. together, but instead learn to love and appreciate each other, forging a bond of brotherhood unbreakable even by the established rules of their world.
At face value, audiences may misconstrue “The Boss Baby” as just a dumb children’s movie, but it offers far more than surface-level charm and visual grandeur. A highly-stylized, colorful and beautifully animated spectacle on the outside, “The Boss Baby” is, at its core, a humorously poignant look into familial love and its importance over enterprise and greed.
Baldwin establishes early on that he is the only one worthy to play the titular character, bringing the humor, power and emotional grit necessary for the complex character that is the Boss Baby. Supported by other outstanding performances of Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow and Steve Buscemi, Baldwin gives audiences what is by far one of the best performances of his storied career, and perhaps of all of film history. “The Boss Baby” is truly one of the funniest films in recent history, as well as one of the most pensive and heartfelt. It is an intense emotional journey from start to finish without a single beat or line wasted on frivolous bits or contrived gags. Every joke, every action and every moment of “The Boss Baby” has an immense purpose, which allows the entire film to work on a multitude of levels, letting the audience leave the theater with a sense of warmth, wonder and wistfulness.
My life is now defined in two eras: pre-“Boss Baby” and post-“Boss Baby.” Not since 2001’s “Spy Kids” has a work of cinema left me in such a state as “The Boss Baby” has. To call it the perfect film would be a gross understatement. I recommend, nay demand, you see “The Boss Baby.” Not for me. Not for the box office. But for yourself. “The Boss Baby” is more than I ever wanted and everything I didn’t know I needed. It inexplicably changed my life and I know it will do the same for you. Thank you, Boss Baby. Thanks for everything.
This review was originally published in The Panther.