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The Boss Review

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Not since people started taking Liam Neeson’s kids have we seen the same routine rolled out as much as with Melissa McCarthy. Now, I don’t mean to be throwing shade at the funny woman, she does what she does incredibly well and never fails to raise a chuckle, but with the exception of Spy, she’s never risen above her brash, loud, ‘I’ll win every argument by going an octave higher’ persona. Take The Boss for example, her latest collaboration with Tammy director/husband Ben Falcone, where her business mogul, and 47th richest woman in the world, Michelle Darnell is basically Identity Thief’s Diana if life treated her a bit better. As you would expect when your main character has it all in the opening scenes, she loses everything due to insider trading and is forced to sleep on the couch of former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell). Inspired by a trip to Claire’s daughter’s Dandelions meeting, Michelle embarks to get back on top by becoming the head of her own brownie selling empire.


While there’s a bit to chuckle away at with The Boss, quite quickly the jokes become stale and the same gags, usually revolving around Michelle’s inability to relate to just about anybody, are wheeled out again and again. As he did with Tammy, Falcone does try to inject a healthy amount of drama into proceedings, but thankfully he does it with a defter hand as it seriously derailed the story last time. The problem this time round is that it’s just woefully out of place, with much of The Boss presenting itself as a wacko comedy, with Michelle at times feeling like a living cartoon as she is thrown against walls and propelled down stairs with no consequence for the sake of an easy laugh. We even get a scene where two groups of girl guides wallop the tar out of each other in slow motion (which, in all fairness, is the movie firing on all cylinders), only to moments later be forced to care that all Michelle wants is a family after years of growing up alone. All bets are off when we get to the heist/samurai showdown with Peter Dinklage (yes, you read that right) finale that just sweeps any attempts to appeal to your heart off the table, leading to an ending we all saw coming while we were waiting in line to get tickets.

While it may have seemed like I was ragging on her earlier, McCarthy is still a really talented actress and she doesn’t put a foot wrong here. She may be let down by a poor script (which she co-wrote with Falcone and Tammy co-star Steve Mallory so she may shoulder some of the blame), but she powers through goddammit, and you’ll be guffawing at certain moments despite yourself. Bell proves to be a good straight woman for McCarthy, but the character of Claire is given next to nothing to really do, at times been just a bounce board for a string of McCarthy delivered one-liners. Dinklage’s performance as Bushido inspired businessman Renault is so odd and out of place that it just about works, but we all know that he is much, much better than this.

McCarthy may be pulling out all the stops as per usual, but she can’t stop The Boss from being an inconsistent, poorly written mess of a comedy.







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The Movie Bit: The Boss Review
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