Director: Ben Falcone
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage
Release Date: Available on Blu-ray & DVD July 26, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Melissa McCarthy stars as Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell – Frozen, “House of Lies”) and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire. Can she reclaim her status as the No. 1 screwer, or will the love of one family screw her for good?
After a troubled youth followed by years of fighting her way to the top regardless of who may get caught in the crosshairs, Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) has finally achieved true success and more money than she knows what to do with. At least that was the case until a clash with her ex-lover and fellow business mogul Renault (Dinklage) results in her incarceration and the loss of everything she had obtained. Upon her release, she finds herself penniless and without a friend in the world. With no other viable options, Michelle worms her way into the home of her old assistant Claire (Bell) and her daughter whose role in a girl scout like organization results in her next brilliant scheme to get rich. With a clear path to her return in sight, she must now decide how much importance family and friends have to her, or if her old beliefs remain true and money is all that truly matters.
Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy) from a script he also co-wrote with Melissa McCarthy and actor Steve Mallory who makes his screenwriting debut, Falcone does a fairly competent job at the helm of ‘The Boss’ guiding the relatively sloppy screenplay. The cast features a number of recognizable individuals including a few notably funny folks and includes Melissa McCarthy (The Heat), Kristen Bell (TV’s House of Lies), Peter Dinklage (TV’s Game of Thrones), Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Kathy Bates (Misery) and a number more, all of whom at the very least deliver competent performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Boss’ is the perfect example of a mediocre comedy, following a somewhat sloppy storytelling method and delivering a number of laughs amidst the plethora of failed jokes; an overall entertaining experience that should tickle the funny bone on a few occasions but will never deliver anything noteworthy or that most folks are likely to recall a year or two down the road. The film isn’t terrible, but it’s also a long way from being good and the capable performances from the talented cast including Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell and the always enjoyable Peter Dinklage and Tyler Labine save it from itself in many respects and without them the film would surely falter into the territory of nearly unbearable. Perhaps the most enjoyable moment is the ridiculous Girl Scout brawl in the middle of a public street that is so outrageous it seems more like a gang war than a bunch of young girls punching each other out and the outrageousness of the sequence is so obscene it becomes quite hilarious. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to check out ‘The Boss’ unless you’re a diehard fan of the key cast, although it may provide some ample entertainment for a couple hours one evening should you come across it on cable.
Overall, ‘The Boss’ is a relatively entertaining and occasionally humorous comedy featuring Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell and some other fairly talented stars, but it never manages to excel in the slightest and only keeps itself afloat as a result of the cast. Obsessive fans of McCarthy or Bell may not be able to help themselves and while it’s not a downright terrible movie and certainly has its moments, it’s far from a winner in my book and I definitely wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to get your hands on a copy, especially if you were at all hesitant about the film to begin with.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Boss’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty wonderful as a whole and delivers a consistently sharp and detailed presentation with no notable faults to be found within. It holds up beautifully even during the fast paced, darkly lit and heavily populated sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, discrete and highly capable soundtrack from start to finish. Occasionally utilizing all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer with the music, in addition to some general ambience making its way throughout the various speakers on a number of occasions, and never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that may not be wildly active but still delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Boss’ includes a solid collection of enjoyable extras. Included on the release are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length altogether) and ‘Extended/Alternate Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 16 minutes in total), in addition to a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 4 minutes). We are also treated to a few behind the scenes Featurettes exploring the different characters and the talent that portrays them, including interviews/comments with the cast and crew; they include ‘Origin Story’ (approximately 7 minutes), ‘Peter Dinklage Gets to the Point’ (9 minutes), and ‘Everybody Loves Kristen Bell’ (7 minutes). The ‘Michelle Darnell: Original Sketch’ that inspired the character is also included (approximately 7 minutes).