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“The Boss Baby” suffers from an overactive imagination.

This elaborate fantasy piece is a house of cards even in the skewed reality of computer animated tales. The premise: Tim Templeton (voice of Miles Christopher Bakshi) is a happy only child (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow voice his parents) when along comes his baby brother to spoil his serenity.

This baby is no ordinary baby. He shows up in a power suit making business calls with the gruff voice of Alec Baldwin. Boss Baby’s mission: increase the bottom line for babies, who are losing the cuteness battle to puppies, and babies are becoming endangered because of this, or something.

Huh?

There’s a recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live” where fully grown Beck Bennett plays a baby who is also an office boss. Someone clearly saw that and decided to run with the premise — “the baby is a boss!” — and didn’t think much more about the logistics of the story or the particulars of the plot.

For that reason, “Boss Baby” is constantly strained, stretching reality or any potential entry point into the story and doubling down on Boss Baby hijinks. Yes, there’s a scene where Boss Baby alludes to “Glengarry Glen Ross” and chides a fellow baby for eating cookies. “Cookies are for closers,” he scolds. The 5-year-olds in the audience will love that classic reference.

What’s really going on in “The Boss Baby?” Good question, and probably one someone should have asked before now. It’s not easy to make an entire movie around a two-word premise, and “Boss Baby” shows why.

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

@grahamorama

‘The Boss Baby’

GRADE: C

Rated PG: for some mild rude humor

Running time: 97 minutes

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