JEANNE’S REVIEW

 

Truly more engaging than the original, THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS or THE BOSS BABY 2, relies heavily on pointing out the importance of love and family over all else. Based on the books “The Boss Baby” and “The Bossier Baby” by Marla Frazee, Tom McGrath directs the screenplay by Michael McCullers.

 

Alec Baldwin reprises his role as Ted Templeton. Jr. from THE BOSS BABY (2017). Now an adult, he and his older brother, Tim (voiced by James Marsden), have grown apart. Ted is no longer head of BabyCorp, he’s currently CEO of a hedge fund --- married to his job with no family.

 

Tim, a stay-at-home dad, and his wife, Carol (voiced by Eva Longoria), have two darling daughters, Tabitha (voiced by Ariana Greenblatt), a whip-smart seven-year-old, and Tina (voiced by Amy Sedaris), the new Boss Baby who’s running an undercover assignment for BabyCorp. Her mission is to reunite Tim and Ted so they can find out what’s going on at Tabitha’s school run by Dr. Erwin Armstrong (voiced by Jeff Goldblum).

 

An experimental potion developed by BabyCorp turns back the clock for Tim and Ted, allowing them to infiltrate the school. Tim is in Tabitha’s class and Ted is back with the babies. They only have 48 hours before the drug wears off, so time is of the essence if they are to stop Dr. Armstrong’s nefarious plan.

 

As opposed to THE BOSS BABY’s convoluted storyline, THE BOSS BABY 2’s plot is much simpler and overall, more entertaining, especially for the little ones. They will delight in the silly mayhem of Precious, the Templeton’s pretty pony --- a gift from Uncle Ted --- as she does her best to get the two brothers to school on time. The continually growing snowball is particularly hilarious.

 

Even adults will be amused by Dr. Armstrong’s plan to rid the planet of parents. His encouragement of everyone who attends the Christmas pageant to take photos will appeal to those who are watching, especially if they have been thwarted themselves by the no-picture-taking policy. It’s all part of his diabolical plan and Goldblum seems to be having quite a good time with this role.

 

Everyone associated with this film appears to be enjoying themselves. Baldwin, Marsden, Longoria and Sedaris are wonderful voice talents, with Greenblatt doing an exceptional job as Tabitha. Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow are also in the mix as Ted Templeton, Sr. and Janice Templeton, Ted and Tim’s mother and father.

 

But as I mentioned in the beginning, THE BOSS BABY 2 has a distinct message of love and what it means to be a family --- no matter what else is going on in your life. Tim is given the extraordinary opportunity to experience Tabitha’s life at school as a classmate named Marcos. And when Marcos helps Tabitha overcome her fear of singing so she can impress her dad, it’s seriously heartwarming.

 

Rarely are sequels better than the original --- though it does seem to be happening more, lately --- but THE BOSS BABY 2 is definitely an improvement. And the music by Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro is an added bonus.

 

Opinion: Wait for VOD

 

DAVID’S REVIEW

 

What if babies ruled the world and parents were basically an unnecessary adjunct? The second film in the franchise --- THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS --- would suggest that is a possibility thanks to an app called “B-day upload” created by a mad baby dressed up as an adult doctor. So, cue the silliness and prepare to revisit the Templeton clan.

 

Tim Templeton (James Marsden) is married to Carol (Eva Longoria). They have two adorable daughters, Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and Tina (Amy Sedaris). Tim is a stay-at-home dad while Carol is the breadwinner. We know this because she is shown standing at a podium holding an award shaped like a long baguette. Tina is an infant so she pretends she can’t talk, and Tabitha is more enamored with her Uncle Ted (Alec Baldwin) than her own father.

 

Without going into a lot of detail --- Jeanne will likely provide a broader synopsis --- Tim spends a good deal of the film trying to get back in the good graces of Tabitha, whom he feels is drifting away from him.

 

THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS has an awful lot of storylines going on, so much so that younger viewers may enjoy the frenetic histrionics and amusing animation but will have no clue as to what the movie is all about. Author Marla Frazee’s books are the basis of Michael McCullers’s screenplay. Director Tom McGrath was Academy Award nominated for the original film THE BOSS BABY in 2017.

 

Brotherly love is one theme that gets a workout and one extended scene depicting an audience full of parents, adult friends and family being brainwashed --- by taking photos with their cell phones --- may be a bit frightening for the little ones. The mad baby dressed as Dr. Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum) is behind that scheme and he is drawn as just that --- a madman/baby. Goldblum’s character is more disturbing than amusing or entertaining.

 

Many of the facial expressions of the characters are precious --- not to be confused with the family pony named Precious. And the animation is at times exceptional, although nowhere near the quality of the recent LUCA from Pixar. Eventually, of course, the Templetons work things out with Ted leaving his usual “inappropriate gifts” at the front door on Christmas Day while saying he can’t be there in person (he lies). And the grandparents --- Grandpa Ted (Jimmy Kimmel) snapping as many photos as he can with his cell, is accompanied by Grandma Janice (Lisa Kudrow). Both Kimmel and Kudrow are underutilized in their voice stints.

 

One line stood out for me when Tabitha, recognizing her father is still of paramount importance to her, gives him a hug and kiss (in lieu of her previous offer of a handshake) while exclaiming “Let’s not grow up too soon”. Ultimately, THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS advocates love and that parents are still the essential element in the lives of their children --- protectors of their physical health and mental wellbeing.

 

Opinion: Wait for VOD