Shared from the 2017-04-01 Chattanooga eEdition

CELEBRITIES | MOVIES | T V | MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT NEWS M OV I E R E V I E W

‘Cookies are for closers!’ Baldwin voices ‘Boss Baby’

Picture

DREAMWORKS VIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The character Tim, left, voiced by Miles Bakshi, and Boss Baby, voiced by Alec Baldwin, appear in the animated film “The Boss Baby.”

Some of the best animated films have been inspired by fairy tales, ancient Greek fables or mythology. Now comes one clearly inspired by, of all people, David Mamet.

The creators of “The Boss Baby ” mined the playwright’s gritty, foul-mouthed “Glengarry Glen Ross” to build the title character, a ruthless, capitalist-minded newborn with pupils like saucers who insists “Cookies are for closers!”

To make the connection even firmer, they’ve hired Alec Baldwin to voice the baby, reprising in cartoon form his motivational speaker from hell from the 1992 film “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The baby is also drawn in Baldwin’s black suit and tie with a gold watch and slicked-back hair.

The casting and homage to Mamet’s snarling, soulless character is funny indeed but seems somewhat outsized in this sweet film, overpowering its understated humor and terrific animation. Altogether, it sometimes seems like “The Boss Baby” was a really good 20-minute short film that became stretched out like a piece of gum until the taste grew stale.

An army of animators — no, really, the endless end credits are staggering to sit through — have been employed to make a 12-course banquet out of a whimsical board book by Marla Frazee, which introduced the suit-wearing toddler. Onscreen, alternate realities mix with several exciting chase sequences, Elvis impersonators, montages and moments of tenderness.

But make no mistake: A lot of money has gone into this story about the joy of brotherhood. The soundtrack includes tunes by Paul McCartney, Irving Berlin, Elvis, Carole King and Burt Bacharach. The voice cast also includes Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow.

Baldwin — no surprise — turns out to be simply great at playing a big, scary baby. His unmistakable presence here also adds a strange twist to a movie that its creators couldn’t have anticipated. Baldwin, after all, has become notorious on “Saturday Night Live” for playing another suit-wearing character who’s also egomaniacal, compassionless and a self-described business genius. This spring, Baldwin plays them both.

“The Boss Baby,” a Dream-Works Animation release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America “for some mild, rude humor.” Running time: 97 minutes. Three stars out of four.

See this article in the e-Edition Here