The Boss

"Bad"

The Boss Review


Melissa McCarthy brings another of her improvisational alter-egos to the big screen with this energetic comedy. The first cause for pause comes because this is a reteaming with her filmmaker husband Ben Falcone, with whom she made the bizarrely unfunny Tammy, as opposed to the filmmaker Paul Feig who directed her to box office triumph with Spy and The Heat and an Oscar nomination in Bridesmaids. Yes, there's a significance difference.

This time she plays hugely popular financial guru Michelle Darnell, whose stardom ends abruptly when she is sent to prison for four months for insider trading. When she's released, everyone she stepped on as she rose to the top turns their back on her, and her nemesis/ex Renault (Peter Dinklage) is still determined to get revenge. The only person who will talk to her is former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), so Michelle moves in with her family. Unable to restart her business, she also takes over the Dandelion Scout troup of Claire's daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson), pushing the girls to take aggressive measures to sell their cookies.

As always, McCarthy throws herself into the role, creating a vivid character who indulges in a lot of outrageously silly slapstick. As with Tammy, the humour centres more on abusive interaction and humiliation than actual wit. McCarthy and Falcone strain to get laughs from physical wackiness rather than anything based on the character, so the movie only ever feels mildly amusing thanks to its high energy. But there's nothing engaging about Michelle, and it's only in a few cute-warm scenes with the terrific Bell that the film springs to anything resembling life. Thankfully, her scenes with the likeable Tyler Labine (as a potential boyfriend) have a loose humour to them. And Dinklage is surprisingly amusing as the sputtering cartoonish villain, while Kathy Bates generates a few sparks as Michelle's sassy mentor.

But it's frustrating that none of these parts come together. The comedy feels pushy and desperate, which means that none of the pratfalls are even remotely funny. And the surge of sentimentality is painfully trite, working double-time to make the audience sigh without ever earning a single bit of it with depth of character or meaningful relationships. There's plenty of material here to make a solid comedy, from McCarthy's invested performance to some strikingly resonant themes about white collar crime and capitalistic greed, but McCarthy and Falcone need a much more adept director to bring their stories to the big screen.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for The Boss:



The Boss

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 8th April 2016

Box Office USA: $62.3M

Budget: $29M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Michelle Darnell, as Renault, as Claire, as Ida Marquette, as Scout Leader Sandy, Cecily Strong as Dana Dandridge, as Sister Aluminata, as Mike, Parker Young as Moisa, Ella Anderson as Rachel, Annie Mumolo as Helen, as Stephan

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