REVIEW: ‘The Boss’ Stumbles Due To Poor Writing

Melissa McCarthy is back with another comedy, this time playing a character who happens to be the owner of a huge corporate empire.

The character is Michelle Darnell, who rose to the top on her own and used cut-throat business practices to do so.

Her ways of getting by eventually lead her into trouble, though, when she gets arrested and sent to prison for a white collar crime.

Having hit rock bottom upon her release, Darnell tries to find some way to get back on top. She ends up finding a path by making a brownie selling business with the help of her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell).

After making a legitimately funny movie like “Spy,” it was a bit disappointing seeing McCarthy in “The Boss,” since the picture doesn’t exactly go for much witty or smart humor.

Instead, the movie basically throws as many R-rated lines and gags on screen with the hope that some will work and fills the rest of the runtime with slapstick. The latter getting extremely ridiculous in the movie’s final 20 minutes.

The most frustrating part about the comedy was that the subject matter opened the door to have fun with the world of corporatism and the dealings that go on behind the scenes. If the writing had been stronger the film could have actually been a really sharp comedy revolving around the business world. Instead we get girl scouts in a street fight.

This isn’t to say that none of the humor in “The Boss” worked. There were a few lines that produced laughs here and there, but so many times it felt like it was trying way too hard, case in point being a part where McCarthy’s character gets thrown against a wall by a pull-out couch.

It doesn’t help that the whole story is so incredibly predictable, to the point where a person can can see a plot element coming from a mile away.

The acting from the lead stars was a bit of glue that held the picture together, though. McCarthy, Bell and Peter Dinklage who was also in the movie all have some experience with comedy and they are able to deliver some humorous lines well enough.

Likely the worst thing about “The Boss” is the wasted potential. The movie has some talent and with a better script it could have had much more satire, like “Spy” did. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Low 2 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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