They grow up so fast, don’t they? It was just four years ago that the Templetons welcomed a new child into the family. Ted was an odd baby who wore a suit onesie, carried a briefcase and spoke the language of the boardroom. “I may look like a baby but I was born all grown up,” he said in “The Boss Baby.”
Cut to “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” now playing in theatres. Older brother Tim (voiced by James Marsden) is now an adult and estranged from his “boss” baby brother Ted (Alec Baldwin). Their lives have taken different paths. Tim is now married to Carol (Eva Longoria) and a suburban dad to 7-year-old daughter Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and infant Tina (Amy Sedaris). Ted, unsurprisingly, is a hedge fund manager and workaholic.
Tabitha seems to be following in her uncle’s footsteps, attending the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood. She’s at the top of her class but what she doesn’t know is that Tina, the baby, is a spy for BabyCorp. “I’m in the family business,” she says. “And now you work for me Boomers!” Her mission? Find out exactly what’s up at Tabitha’s school and if its founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum) is really planning a baby revolution. “We can make parents do whatever we want,” he yells.
The investigation brings the brothers, who drink a formula that turns them back into toddlers, together and reveals deep bonds. “Just because you grow up,” says Tina, “doesn’t mean you have to grow apart.”
Like all sequels “Boss Baby: Family Business” is bigger, louder and more frenetic than the original. In a blur of color and action, it uses kid-friendly humour and inventive animation to re-enforce a standard lesson about the importance of family.
The messaging may be generic, but the solid voice work from Marsden, Baldwin, Sedaris and Goldblum (who seems to be having a blast) inject vibrant life into it. This is essentially a one joke premise dragged kicking and screaming into feature length but director Tom McGrath expands the world of the first film (which he also directed) staging scenes with baby ninjas and inside Tim’s head. There are no big surprises really, but he does keep much of the mischievousness that made the first film so enjoyable.
“The Boss Baby: Family Business” moves at a rapid speed that may exhaust parents, but should keep young minds, who may have followed the adventures of the Boss Baby series on Netflix for the last four years, entertained.