5/10 After giving the first “The Boss Baby” film a 7.5/10, it saddens me that the follow up falls short of the underrated and Oscar nominated (Best Animated Feature) first film. While many aspects from the first film still work well, the overall plot and story fall flat and end up sinking the hopes that this would match up with the original. The first film’s plot was simple yet extremely effective. This time around, there is way too much going on with multiple subplots and a script that tries to juggle too many balls at once. Despite a couple of clever one liners, the script just doesn’t match the wit, humor or heart of the first film. They also recast Tobey Maguire from the first film and replaced him with James Marsden. While Marsden is an extremely likeable talent/voice, he is a rather stark contrast from Maguire and it is a shame that they couldn’t keep continuity in terms of every voice actor (I’m assuming Maguire got greedy and demanded a big pay raise for this movie, if past real life stories surrounding him are any indication). The animation is fine but when Pixar is putting out the best animation on Earth, movies like this always ill in comparison. The movie just wasn’t as engaging and not nearly as memorable as the original. Hans Zimmer co-scored alongside Steve Mazzaro again and the score, while pleasant in the moment, is one you will instantly forget about and Zimmer is capable of much better work. As for what did work, there is still some stylistic direction from director Tom McGrath, especially when it came to an early imagination sequence and a musical number during our main female protagonist Tabitha’s recital. Speaking of Tabitha, voiced by Ariana Greenblatt, the voice cast is top notch here. In addition to the returning Alec Baldwin, who was tailor made for this role, we get some wonderful new additions like Greenblatt, Amy Sedaris and my personal favorite, Jeff Goldblum as the villain. Despite the movie not having quite as much heart as the first film, I still found this movie to have some decent emotional stakes and some wholesome messages that are good for kids to hear. A talented voice cast, some solid direction and decent pacing can’t quite make up for the completely forgettable story, disappointing script and lackluster score. Stick with the original and/or set your expectations lower for this installment.

#PacifieredUp / #IndependenceBDay / #UnfinishedFamilyBusiness / #GlengarryGlenBoss / #NeedsABetterFormula / #LikeABossBaby

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