Plot: What’s it about?
After seeing The Boss in theaters a few months back, I had a theory about Melissa McCarthy. It wasn’t scientific and it’s all subjective, but it’s that every other film of hers that is good. By this I’ll go back to 2013 with Identity Thief which I cared little for, but I really enjoyed The Heat. The less said about Tammy, the better and then I laughed out loud several times during last summer’s Spy. She gave a good turn in St. Vincent, but sticking purely to her comedies, that’s the theory I’ve come up with. All this seems the truer since Boss, unfortunately, is one of her lesser films. I think she needs a strong costar to play against. She and Sandra Bullock made a great pair, and while she was mostly solo in Spy, she had the help of stars such as Jude Law and Jason Statham. I mean nothing against Kristen Bell, but her role here is far too bland for McCarthy to have any fun with. While the film was hardly a flop, it failed to bring in the big bucks of some of McCarthy’s previous efforts. I can applaud her for at least trying new things, but chalk this one up as a disappointment.
McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a super wealthy businesswoman who gets arrested on insider trading charges. She (naturally) doesn’t take this very well, but after her 5 month stint in prison, she tries to right the wrong and take charge of her life again. Since she has nowhere else to go, her former assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell) agrees to take her in. Claire lives in a small apartment with her daughter, but they make the living arrangement work. Or at least try to. I think part of the problem here is that first of all, the premise just isn’t very funny. Secondly, the character that McCarthy plays isn’t very likeable, funny, or interesting to say the least. It doesn’t help that we have the young daughter element. This tells us pretty much that inevitably at some point the film will turn sweet and sappy. As mentioned, there’s just nothing terribly noteworthy here. It’s such a laugh free affair that I’m having a hard time even labeling this a comedy first. There are more dramatic elements than anything else. The gags here range from semi-gross to just plain lame. There’s a subplot involving another mom and a Girl Scout cookie incident. The entire angle just seems forced and unfunny. Then there are the usual gags where Michelle picks on Claire about her wardrobe and what not. Again, nothing particularly funny, and certainly nothing that new. I haven’t even touched on the Peter Dinklage character, but the less mentioned there, the better. All involved can do better than this nonsense. I have hope that McCarthy can get back on track. After all, she’s done it before.
*Note – This disc includes both the film’s Theatrical version and an unrated cut that adds some 6 minutes or so of new footage. Don’t expect the unrated cut to change your opinion of the film, however.
Video: How’s it look?
Universal presents The Boss in a 1.85:1 AVC HD image that looks good, though I was surprised to see several scenes that were plagued with grain. This isn’t something that was so terribly distracting that it took my focus off the movie, but for a new to Blu-ray film from a major studio I was a bit shocked. Detail, as expected, is crystal clear (we can see Tammy’s lowlights in the utmost clarity) and colors are bright, bold and vidid. Save for those outdoor scenes with the grain, it’s a good effort and if the movie were, say, a decade old I’d look past this. Still, it’s a good transfer that should please viewers.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Comedies aren’t really known for their soundtracks and The Boss is no exception. The DTS HD Master Audio mix has a few moments that show off the capability, but those are few and far between. Vocals are sharp and crisp lacking any distortion and the front channels handle the mix with relative ease. Directional effects are varied, but again I wasn’t really expecting this mix to shake the room.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Alternate Ending: Falcon Rangers – The character of Chad (Dave Bautista) and his group of Falcon Rangers have a final battle with Michelle and her girls. Hilarity ensues? Sure, why not!
- Deleted Scenes
- Convention Center Opening
- White Sox
- Claire Gets Hired at Her New Job
- Claire Plays Chess with Rachel
- Darnell Enterprises Building Lobby
- Walking to Dandelion Meeting
- Hallway Prior to Dandelion Meeting
- Michelle Plays Chess with Rachel
- Michelle Visits Tito
- Helipad Epilogue
- Extended/Alternate Scenes
- Bed Flip Scene (Alternate)
- Carrot Top
- They Do Look Moist
- Michelle Returns the Key
- Security Guard (Extended)
- Breaking Into Renault’s (Extended)
- Gag Reel – Shenanigans on the set.
- Michelle Darnell – Original Sketch – Melissa McCarthy’s full sketch at the Groundlings of her character “Michelle Darnell” in all its glory.
- Origin Story – Even the boss has to start somewhere. We see and hear how the character of “Michelle Darnell” was created, and go from the early life at The Groundlings to the big screen. With interview footage from Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and writer Steve Mallory, we get to relive the life of “Michelle Darnell.”
- Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point – A hilarious piece about the Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who plays Renault. This will include on-set and sit-down interviews with Peter and other cast; it showcases his sword fight & stunt training, eclectic wardrobe & hair styles andhis on-set chemistry with Melissa McCarthy.
- Everybody Loves Kristen Bell – A look inside Kristen Bell’s character, Claire. From taking Michelle Darnell off the streets to helping create a brownie empire, Claire helped bring Michelle Darnell back to the top.
The Bottom Line
I might have smirked a few times, but The Boss is still a dud. I highly recommend you skip this outing and just watch or rewatch one of McCarthy’s funnier efforts.