With a name that seemed to pop out from a random film title generator (coming soon: The Penguin Professor and The Antelope Analyst), and a concept apparently conceived of by a 5-year-old (a baby in a suit barks orders), The Boss Baby didn't seem especially exciting ahead of time.

Despite that, it has become a massive hit at the US box office. It's a triumph of marketing over storytelling, as the film, while not offensive, mostly lives down to its lack of promise.

In a plot that mines surprisingly similar ground (with much less success) to last year's Storks, The Boss Baby follows the plight of 7-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi), an imaginative only child whose world is torn asunder when a new little baby brother arrives.

Feeding Tim's resentment is his knowledge that his new sibling is actually on a special assignment from Baby Corps, a business-like organisation that promotes the interests of babies. Or something.

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After repeatedly failing to convince his parents that their new addition actually wears a suit and speaks with Alec Baldwin's voice, Tim must eventually team up with his pint-sized nemesis.

Scene from The Boss Baby
Scene from The Boss Baby

The novelty of hearing Alec Baldwin riff on his infamous performance as a fearsome sale manager in 1991's Glengarry Glen Ross ("Cookies are for closers" etc) wears off pretty quickly as the film settles into a series of baby-imperiling set-pieces that occasionally display welcome stylistic flourishes.

Very young audience members should enjoy the surfeit of fart and bum jokes, but unless you're a seriously clucky grown-up, guardians will struggle to find much to carry them through.

Cast:

Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi

Director:

Tom McGrath

Running Time:

97 mins

Rating:

G

Verdict:

Fun for kids, adults will clock watch.