Review: ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ Is A Fun Sequel With A Good Family Message
SALT LAKE CITY — For those of you who have siblings, isn’t it frustrating when petty rivalries or offenses from your childhood carry into adulthood? It’s said that nobody can get under your skin quite like a family member can. Younger siblings feel like they don’t get to do anything that the older ones do, while the older siblings feel like the younger ones get away with everything.
That dynamic, along with some talented voice acting and funny writing was what made 2017’s “The Boss Baby” movie into a surprise hit. But the ending of that movie made it clear the main characters were all grown up. So how do you finagle a sequel like “The Boss Baby: Family Business” after an ending like that? You have to stretch things like a taffy pull.
In “The Boss Baby: Family Business” we find the Templeton brothers — Tim (voiced by James Marsden) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (voiced perfectly once again by Alec Baldwin) — have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad, while Ted is a hedge fund CEO. Tim’s super-smart 7-year-old daughter Tabitha is at the top of her class at a prestigious school and she idolizes her uncle Ted, but Tim, still in touch with his overactive youthful imagination, worries she’s working too hard and missing out on a normal childhood.
Tim gets a big surprise when his other child, baby Tina (voiced by Amy Sedaris) reveals that just like her uncle before her, she is also a top-secret agent for Baby Corp. Her mission is to uncover the dark secrets behind Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong (voiced by Jeff Goldblum). Tim and Ted take a formula that turns them back into their younger selves so they can infiltrate the school and figure out how to stop him, but also maybe help Tabitha with some struggles of her own.
Just like the first “Boss Baby” movie, “Family Business” is highlighted by Alec Baldwin, who essentially turned his character from the TV show “30 Rock” into an animated baby. But it’s a perfect combination of voice and role that reminds you how talented Baldwin can be.
Goldblum hams it up as the villain, but Sedaris isn’t given much to do, with writers Michael McCullers and Marla Frazee apparently preferring to have the first movie’s heroes take the lead in the sequel. Other supporting cast members include Eva Longoria, Ariana Greenblatt, Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel.
Dreamworks animators have created another colorful world for the characters to inhabit. Of course, it’s helped by the fact that much of the movie takes place as part of Tim’s “memories” of the events mixed with his very active imagination.
But along with the zany moments, there are also some very positive messages for both kids and adults in the script, including overcoming fear and jealousy, seeing things from others’ perspectives and the strength of family love. Plus, when it’s funny, it is VERY funny.
There’s nothing I really need to warn you about in the film’s content because there’s nothing offensive. It’s rated PG and its run time is just over an hour and a half, great for parents who are just watching it for their kids’ sakes.
While acknowledging that I am not the primary audience for this film, I did like it. It has some very funny moments and it’s something that the whole family can watch together. I found “The Boss Baby: Family Business” to be a little better than the average family film, but not quite as unique or funny as the original movie. My kids were all excited to see it and they were not disappointed.
It is playing in theaters but is also available to stream at home for no extra charge on Universal’s streaming service, Peacock. Peacock is included at no charge for those who have Comcast cable or internet, otherwise, they have subscription plans that start at $5 per month.
This is the first movie to debut simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock. We shall see if and/or when other Universal movies follow suit in the future.
FINAL RATING: TWO AND A HALF OUT OF FOUR STARS
Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com
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