There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed at nostalgic adults than young kids who will miss the rapid-fire movie references. But it's also silly and busy, and cute enough to make everyone in the audience sigh a few times. And it's anchored by a terrific vocal performance from Alec Baldwin that channels his infantile Donald Trump impersonation to hilarious effect.
The story is told through the eyes of a creative 7-year-old named Tim (Tobey Maguire as the film's narrator, Miles Bakshi as the character), who has enjoyed growing up as the only child of his playful, loving parents (Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel). Then a little baby brother (Alec Baldwin) arrives, and Tim discovers that he can walk and talk, and also that he's the CEO of Baby Corp, sent on a secret mission to spy on Puppyco, where Tim's parents work. Apparently, puppies are becoming more popular than babies, and now the Puppyco boss (Steve Buscemi) is preparing to launch a breed of puppy that will forever steal the love of parents from their children. In a panic, Tim teams up with the Boss Baby to get rid of him for good.
It's clear to grown-ups in the audience that all of this is happening in Tim's wildly imaginative head, which kind of eliminates any tension in the crazed action mayhem that follows. Younger viewers may find the premise itself rather baffling, but will enjoy the hyperactive pacing and snappy dialogue. The only problem with this is that it means that the movie remains resolutely superficial, touching on big issues like sibling rivalry and corporate greed without ever dealing with them. And it presents a baby as an aggressive invader, which may be how it sometimes feels to an older sibling, even if we know better.
Continue reading: The Boss Baby Review
The film stars Eddie Griffin as Undercover Brother, a modern day black man with a wild afro and everything a '70s man could want, including a solid gold caddy, platform shoes, and polyester bell-bottoms. Brother is recruited by the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. organization to help overpower the evil efforts of "The Man." The Man, along with henchmen "The Feather" (Chris Kattan) and "White She-Devil" (Denise Richards) are causing havoc with race relations between blacks and whites. In "Operation Whitewash," The Man has influenced black General Boutwell (Billy Dee Williams) to not run for President, but rather to open a chain of fast food chicken restaurants.
Continue reading: Undercover Brother Review
Instead of Bond, it's super-groovy spy Austin Powers (Myers) making his triumphant return to the silver screen, the British secret agent frozen in the 60's and thawed in the 90's, where/when he returned to active duty. The Spy Who Shagged Me picks up right where the original left off, with Dr. Evil (also Myers) banished to space in his Big Boy statue/spaceship, and Austin settling down with new wife Vanessa (Elizabeth Hurley, in a cameo re-appearance).
Continue reading: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Review
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