The Boss Baby 2 (2021)

Quick synopsis: No, I’m not summing up this up. It’s too stupid, watch the trailer.

I’ll start off with the obvious. This is not a good movie, for most of it it’s not even watchable. Fundamentally it suffers the same flaw as the first one where the general concept isn’t buyable. It’s not like Toy Story where you can imagine toys coming to life. There is no anchor of reality to ground yourself in. We know the reality of babies, everybody alive was at some point a baby, so there is no truth to the lies this film tells. This specific plot doesn’t work either. So they have to become babies again to infiltrate a school, right?

1) they need to be babies.

2) Why does it have to be them?

I’ll answer both of those questions: because we, the audience know the main characters as babies and we need to see them like it again. It only happens because this is a film, more specifically a sequel. This film establishes that Tims daughter Tina is a boss baby too. So why didn’t she do it? She wouldn’t need a special potion that turns her into a baby briefly, she already is one. She has all the connections, and she already knows what to do and what to look for etc. The film says her real mission was to bring the two brothers back together. What do they care? The brothers are initially brought together by a faked voicemail, but it’s so obviously fake that it wouldn’t actually fool anybody.

Now onto the biggest issue I had with this film: it takes place a MUCH longer time after the first one than most sequels (I’d estimate about 20 or 30 years after). Instead of focusing on Tim as a kid again. We are introduced to his kids. This means that the returning characters have completely different characterisation, because they’ve aged 30 years since the last time we saw them. So really we don’t know these characters. This goes for the relationships between characters too. It’s based on his relationship with his brother. But it’s completely different from the last time. Because the last time we saw these characters they first met and had a frayed relationship, then started to get on with and love each other. This takes place when they are estranged. But we never got to see them in a decent relationship really (except for like 10-20 minutes at the end of the first one). So the entire thing is based on relationships and a past which we haven’t been privy to. It’s like we’ve missed the back story we need.

There is some consistency for the characters, but it just makes the film worse. Tim is still talking to his toys and imagining them coming to life. That made sense in the first one because he was a child, and that’s what children do. But now he’s an adult, so it just comes off as kind of weird. He has kids and yet still has the mentality of one. This is what happens when you have a sequel featuring characters who are the same, but are at fundamentally different stages of their life.

It signposts the jokes way too much. There’s one in particular which you can guess about 3-4 seconds before it happens. It doesn’t try to subvert it in any way, it plays the joke completely straight. The original film was released 4 years ago, so the audience who enjoyed the first one would have matured, but this film hasn’t. It’s like it’s aimed at people who only discovered it in the last year. 4 years is a very long time in childhood. The difference between a 5 year old and a 9 year old is immense in terms of taste and likes.

Now onto the good. Jeff Goldblum is perfect in his role. Kind of. His voice is perfect for the character, and it looks perfect for him in still images, but he moves in such a jerky way (think standard annoying youtuber) that it is distracting and weird. It also does that thing almost every film does with holograms where it makes them glitchy and broken. No matter how much of a genius a character is in a film, they can never create holograms which actually work. The movement doesn’t match his voice either, he has the voice of someone who either stands still, or paces back and forth, not jump around all over the place. Also, his character is not a boss baby, just a baby who is intelligent, so why does he have an adult voice?

Other things on the plus side: the line “they’re going to send in the Baby Seals” made me laugh a lot. And there’s a musical interlude which is sweet, creative, and incredibly heartfelt. It’s everything the rest of the film should be but isn’t. It’s almost Pixar-esque. Such a shame the rest of the film doesn’t come anywhere near.

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