HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Boss
HTS Overall Score:72
After the incredibly funny hit that was Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” last year, I was REALLY hoping for another hit like that one, as I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at McCarthy’s jokes as I did while watching “Spy”. She was even hysterically funny with her small bit in “Bridesmaids”, but being that this was the second collaboration between her and director/actor husband Ben Falcone (who does the writing and directing here as he did in the abomination known as “Tammy”) I was more than a bit hesitant at the same time. After this, all I can assume is that Ben and Melissa seem to be an adorable couple, but they really need to STOP collaborating together, as “The Boss” sinks back down to another McCarthy low and just earns the moniker of “Well, at least it wasn’t as bad as “Tammy”).
McCarthy returns to the big screen and this time not as the perpetual loser she is famous for playing. This time she’s the boss and she’s on top. Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) was an orphan who was raised to believe that she was unwanted and unloved due to every family who tried to adopt her ended up leaving her back at the orphanage once more. Now she has the world by the tail as she’s worked her way up from the bottom and is now one of the wealthiest women in America, even going so far as to make millions off of high energy power speeches for crowds of cheering folds who just want to be rich. That is until her ex-lover turned rival Renault (Peter Dinklage) turns her in for insider trading. Now Michelle is in prison (that’s a loose term as they make quit a few gags out of the fact that white collar prisons are just resorts) and all her assets have been seized. Now after serving her time, Michelle is out of the cooler and back on the street, but sadly with no place to go. The only person who will even look twice at her is Michelle’s ex second in command, Claire (Kristen Bell).
Claire was the overworked and underappreciated one in the relationship, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, despite Michelle’s lack of resources. Out of pity, Claire and her daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson) take in the dejected CEO only to find out that Michelle isn’t out of ideas yet. This time she’s figured out how to make her rise to the top with the help of Claire and Rachel’s Dandelion girl troupe. Partnering with Claire and her amazing brownie recipe, the twisted business mogul pairs that with a girl scout like group mentality to sell sell sell until the tow of them are reaching the top once more. That is unless Renault doesn’t mess the entire thing up as he desperately tries to strip one more thing from Michelle, or if Michelle herself doesn’t tank the entire operation with her own selfishness.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74481[/img]“The Boss” can be a semi entertaining movie at times, taking delightful pleasure in the hysterical “corrupting” of youth from the more streetwise party. Melissa McCarthy plays it up with gusty with her slightly foul mouthed use of language, shocking the otherwise innocent troupe of dandelions, and super crazed and overly retentive super mom Helen (Annie Mumolo). There’s actually a scene where Michelle is babysitting Rachel while showing her “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” that had me in stitches, but the real comedic star of the show is Peter Dinklage. Hamming it up as the pretentious Renault he garners 90% of the laughs in the movie (besides the incredibly funny girl fight scene in the middle of the movie between the girl’s troupes) and right fully so. The man can’t turn in a bad performance and is usually the best part of whatever film/TV show he’s in.
Sadly there are so many misses in the film that many of the fun parts just don’t make up for it. I can honestly say that yes, this is better than “Tammy”, but that’s not really saying a whole lot. Especially considering how fantastic last year’s “Spy” was. I do give her and Ben Falcone credit for not making all of the jokes about how McCarthy’s character is a big fat slob loser, but turns that on its ear, making her into some sort of business genius. It’s refreshing and breaks some of the clichés, but sadly they don’t break all of them. I really think Melissa is a talented and funny comedian. She has great instincts when it comes to physical comedy, but for some reason she doesn’t seem that talented when it comes to writing and choosing a script. There she tends to fail miserable as we watch her stumble and scream around the room impotently as the script fails her time and time again. I’ve SEEN her choose some great scripts, and when she does that Melissa is pure gold. “Spy”, “Mike and Molly”, “Gilmore Girls”, “St. Vincent”, they all give her good material to work with and she truly shines. However when she pairs up with Ben Falcone everything goes out the window and you better be prepared to hold your head in pain.
Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74489[/img]Framed at 1.85:1 and shot using Arri Alexa cameras, “The Boss” comes to Blu-ray with a VERY nice looking encode. Stylized like a glamour shot and filled with all sorts of bright reds, oranges and other primary colors, the comedy flick looks about as beautiful as it could possibly be. Detail is razor sharp throughout the film, with every turtleneck and gaudy outfit that Michelle wears looking pristine and intimately detailed, and facial details pop out with incredible panache. Just watch the opening scene with Michelle coming down out of the phoenix chariot and watch how the tons of glitter, fire and glitzy costumes all blend together without losing a bit of detail amongst the chaos. Black levels remain deep and inky, with strong shadow detail to boot. I didn’t notice even a flicker of banding and only VERY mild black crush here and there leaving the disc looking near perfect. There IS some minor softness associated with the glossy almost “makeup pretty” look of the film, but it’s not very obtrusive at all.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74497[/img]“The Boss” sports a very healthy and energetic 5.1 DTS-HD MA track for us to enjoy, and even though it is a comedy track, it is not ALL front heavy with some rather bombastic moments. The opening scene once more shines with a rocking hip hop opening beat as well as the hysterical “troupe” fight in the middle of the film. Helicopters thud with impressive power as the rotors go round, and there’s some great surround usage with the hustle and bustle of big city traffic. LFE is impressive and deep when called for, but being a comedy don’t expect it to come out and play ALL the time. The same goes for the surrounds as there still are very long stretches of the movie where the center channel and the mains get a lot of the loving. It’s still quite a pleasing audio experience and will leave no one wishing that it had been better considering the genre.
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted Scenes
• Extended/Alternate Scenes
• Gag Reel
“The Boss” is really just another entry in Melissa McCarthy’s comedy database, and nothing special in terms of differentiating it from the crowds of other films she’s done as a bumbling idiot. This time she’s just a MEAN bumbling idiot who’s good at running a business like a shark and nothing else. I knew from the trailer what we were in for, but still hoped for the best. I will admit to laughing a couple of times from one of two of the gags, but you know that your comedy has failed big time when the only reason you want to watch the film and keep going is to see what Peter Dinklage will do next. Audio and video are great for a comedy, but the extras are a bit slim with only a few minutes of deleted scenes, gag reels and the like. If you’re a fan of McCarthy then the movie is probably worth a rental, but if not, then I’d definitely skip “The Boss”.
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kathy Bates, Kristen Bell
Directed by: Ben Falcone
Written by: Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DVS DD 2.0, French, Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 99 minutes (theatrical) / 104 minutes (unrated)
Blu-ray Release Date: July 26th, 2016
Buy The Boss On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It/Low Rental
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