Blame it on naivety or over-confidence, but I thought I was going to be okay watching The Boss Baby: Family Business without watching The Boss Baby. Somewhere within the first act, I surrendered and desperately looked online for a rundown of the first movie. However, even though I was brought up to speed and given an idea of how bizarre The Boss Baby was, I still wasn’t prepared for how relentlessly loud and strange this sequel is. The Boss Baby: Family Business is the most annoying kids movie I’ve seen in nearly five years (Storks previously holding that title).
The sequel reunites brothers Ted and Tim (Alec Baldwin, James Marsden) after they’ve grown up and grown apart. They have tried to maintain a relationship, but communication is sparse. The mission they’re brought together for is headlined by Baby Corp’s latest lil’ leader, Tim’s youngest daughter Tina (Amy Sedaris), and involves them infiltrating a state-of-the-art school to investigate the suspicious behaviour and teachings of eccentric Dr. Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum). The men hit the school as soon as they disguise themselves by chugging de-aging formula, which allows the movie to bring back the cherubic face of the franchise.
The Boss Baby: Family Business is off-the-wall, and not in a good way. The film moves at a breakneck speed, favours a quantity of jokes over the quality of them, and is constantly pushing itself on to the audience towards the centre of the frame – this movie is headache fuel.
During this pandemic, there have been animated movies that have been rerouted to a home release where it’s obvious they’ve been tailored for a theatre’s 3D technology, and The Boss Baby: Family Business is yet another example. When you compare this sequel to other tailored examples like The Mitchells vs. The Machines or even Scoob, you can see how clever writing can always pull a film through its hindrances. Even with 3D technology though, the effects may have worked but they would’ve only contributed to how overwhelming the movie is.
The messages in this sequel come from a good place, especially the central theme of appreciating the efforts of others. But, it’s too often bogged down by a silly and convoluted super-villain plot involving evil hypnosis run by babies who know how to code a lethal app. Parents: read that last sentence again and ask yourself “will my kid understand that?”. If not, I’m afraid that’s the level of humour in The Boss Baby: Family Business; which also includes dated pop culture references. But perhaps, the story is more for the parents while the attacking visuals are for the children. However, by being initially geared towards children (especially those youngins who liked The Boss Baby and its Netflix series, and want to see another movie), it’s almost as if the filmmakers are admitting their distain for eager kids and making broad assumptions about what will entertain them.
People who saw the first movie may find something else in The Boss Baby: Family Business, but all I saw was hyper cynicism projected through a bullhorn.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie