Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Boss Baby: Family Business Review: The Baldwin Baby Is Back

Alec Baldwin	...	Theodore Templeton (voice) James Marsden	James Marsden	...	Tim Templeton (voice) Amy Sedaris	Amy Sedaris	...	Tina Templeton / Boss Baby (voice) Ariana Greenblatt	Ariana Greenblatt	...	Tabitha (voice) Eva Longoria	Eva Longoria	...	Carol Templeton (voice) Jimmy Kimmel	Jimmy Kimmel	...	Ted Templeton (voice) Lisa Kudrow	Lisa Kudrow	...	Janice Templeton (voice) Jeff Goldblum	Jeff Goldblum	...	Dr. Armstrong (voice) James McGrath	James McGrath	...	Wizzie (voice) Reyn Doi	Reyn Doi	...	Box Kid (voice) Gracen Newton	Gracen Newton		 Other cast: Molly K. Gray	Molly K. Gray	...	Creepy Girl Buddy Vedder	Buddy Vedder	...	Tim Templeton (voice) Al Saif Alshad	Al Saif Alshad	...	Al Saif Alshad (voice)

Release date: July 2, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Director: Tom McGrath
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Greenblatt, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Eva Longoria, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris

In the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s Oscar®-nominated blockbuster comedy, the Templeton brothers—Tim (James Marsden, X-Men franchise) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin)—have become adults and drifted away from each other. Tim is now a married stay-at-home dad. Ted is a hedge fund CEO. But a new boss baby with a cutting-edge approach and a can-do attitude is about to bring them together again … and inspire a new family business. 

The Boss Baby was beautifully animated and imaginative and the sequel is no different.  The film has a great sense of imagination to try and integrate a talking, adult baby into this world. The second film has plenty of bright and busy animated sections as the characters explore this crazy world.  These are especially pronounced at Baby Corp. and at the school.  The school has a lot of innovative classes and subjects, and the whole instruction sequence is a lot of fun to see.  Family Business sees the return of Ted and Tim and uses an interesting ploy to integrate them into the story.  You see them as adults and as kids and the film has some funny ways to transition these two.  But the main draw of this film is Alec Baldwin as Ted.  His boss baby character was the main draw of the film, and this movie has him return in all his adult voiced baby splendor.  And although there are several returning cast members, the addition of both Amy Sedaris as young Tina and Jeff Goldblum as the school director were smart choices that are so fun to see.  They add a lot of humor to this generally funny situation, with Goldblum especially adding some laughs to this film.

However, the film is a strange one.  The idea of a talking baby and an entire organization of babies that have their own operations and skills is an odd one and takes some extreme explanations to make work.  And although the reason for Tim and Ted becoming kids is imaginative, it leads to a story that is a little convoluted.  I would have liked the film to be either an extension of the first one or an adventure where you get to see them as adults.  And the story for what they have to do also seems unnecessarily complicated.  It takes a while to get where it's going with a lot of outside explanation to get them to that situation.  

One nice aspect is that the film does try to impart some interesting societal messages, without going overboard.  There are subtle messages in the film like family vs. business success and environmentalism, but nothing too extreme.  And the obsession with phones and apps is probably something we are all suffering after being glued to our phones and devices for the last year.  But overall, the film just feels like a lot for a kids movie.  My quick review from my own kids was "It was weird."  They enjoyed it but not as much as some other kids films we have seen recently (but that didn't stop them from asking to see it again the day after we watched it).  But all that being said, the movie does have a cute, heartfelt ending that wraps up the story and will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

The Boss Baby: Family Business sees the return of the Baldwin baby with some beautiful animation, imaginative scenarios, and plenty of colorful, ridiculous destruction.

Rent it.

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The Boss Baby: Family Business is in theaters and on Peacock on July 2, 2021.  

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