“The Boss Baby: Family Business” is a goofy, busy entry into a franchise that includes a television series.
It’s a serviceable movie that ought to engage little viewers. Only grownups will get some of the pop-culture nods and music that is the most appealing part of the film.
The first “The Boss Baby” was a huge box-office hit in 2017. The movie, which was based on a book, then had progeny of its own: a popular Netflix series.
Now this script, which goes through all sorts of machinations and tediously complex gymnastics to pursue various puzzling and often incomprehensible plot lines, provides a toddler-busy, shrill mishmash of bright colors and motion.
Former baby Tim has grown up (he’s now voiced by James Marsden.) He and his wife have two little girls: The serious and gifted Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and baby Tina (wonderfully voiced by Amy Sedaris.)
Tim’s brother Ted (Alec Baldwin) is the kind of wealthy boss who has no time for the rest of his family, despite Tabitha’s yearning to see her Uncle Ted, her mentor, again.
Tina, it turns out, is the secret boss baby this time around. She is part of a mission to investigate the real intentions of Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum) and his private school, where Tabitha is a student.
Tina can’t do it alone, so she enlists the help of Tim and Ted, who swallow some kind of potion and return to being little kids.
Through it all, Ted and Tim learn important lessons about sibling support, and Tabitha gets some important advice from her dad/new classmate.
You could do worse than taking your family to see this. While in many ways it’s a retread, it has some clever parts, including a soundtrack that can’t be beat (where else is a kid going to hear “Time Warp” for the first time?)
Don’t expect it to be as memorable as the other, far superior DreamWorks family picture, “Spirit Untamed.”
But if you liked the first one, toddle on out to this.
2 stars Rated: PG for coarse humor
Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine.