The Boss is at best a continuation of Get Hard, that ill-though-through Will Ferrell (who incidentally produces The Boss) “comedy” of yesteryear, in which our cretinous central character is jailed despite confusing prosperity with immunity. Where Get Hard focused on preparing for and pulling through prison, The Boss looks at what this character would do upon release.
What emerges is a 25-minute sitcom episode overstretched and underfilled to make 90 minutes feel like a life sentence. Melissa McCarthy’s Michelle Darnell is brash, obnoxious, unlovable – all of which is too familiar for McCarthy. These ladies are not the McCarthy characters we love, but sadly they are the ones we know all too well. The lazy writing has grabbed the wrong end of the wrong stick but still insists on beating the audience over the head with it. Mirth and spirit are replaced with meanness and spite, the jokes falling flat and awkwardly interspersed with physical gags with no relevance or impact on proceedings.
Both story and storytelling are inconsequential with no thought of consequences; McCarthy just comes in like a Steamroller, smashing all in her path as she attacks that sacred American Dream: Girl Scouts selling cookies. Peter Dinklage’s villainous love interest disappears for much of the movie, but given his lack of splash this may be for the best in limiting damage to his increasingly bemused fanbase. Kristen Bell on costar autopilot is possibly the least cringeworthy element of the cast; at least she isn’t overacting.
Michelle Darnell was imprisioned for improper use of money in the film; Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy should face the same consequences for making The Boss – what a waste of talent, time and money. Don’t make the same mistake by spending your own to see it.
CAST: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson
DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone
WRITERS: Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory, Melissa McCarthy
SYNOPSIS: A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.