Film Review: Ted 2Posted: July 19, 2015
I really dug the first Ted movie (review here), liking the combination of the Disney premise, cute title character and the foul mouthed, crude and edgy humour that’s Seth MacFarlane’s trademark. I also liked that under the swearing and close-to-the-bone gags, it was quite a sweet flick about friendship and growing up, with John (Mark Wahlberg) having to take some responsibility and move forward in order to develop his relationship with Lori (Mila Kunis).
So, I was looking forward to checking out the sequel with MWG and some mates this week.
Unfortunately for me, early on John and Lori’s relationship is shown to have died off screen. This seems a bit rushed and poor considering the first relied on you buying into the relationship and because Wahlberg and Kunis had good chemistry.
While John is now divorced Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) is tying the knot with Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). But a year in and their marriage is struggling, Ted follows the questionable advice that a baby will save their relationship.
The problem, as a Toy bear come alive is that he can’t actually have kids. So they decide on a sperm donor, first choosing Flash Gordon star Sam J. Jones before going for NFL player Tom Brady, both attempts go awry as does a disastrous attempt by John to visit a sperm bank.
Going for adoption poses problems, as Ted is not technically a “person” in the eyes of the law and the his life unravels quickly. With John in support they decide to fight it and enlist the services of Samantha “Sam” Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to challenge the ruling.
When this fails the three decide to go to New York to meet a famous civil rights lawyer (Morgan Freeman) who’s interested in their case. Unbeknownst to them Ted’s obsessive fan Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) wants to use Ted’s new status to steal him and find out while he’s magic and try to make more Teds.
Can they evade Donny? Will the famous lawyer take their case? If he does can he win it? And is Sam the answer to John’s prolonged dry spell since his divorce?
First of all, this is the kind of movie where it all hinges on how you felt about the original. If Ted made you laugh, then you’ll most likely enjoy this, but it won’t win over folks who weren’t fussed on the first outing.
The humour is still a mix of the profane, stupid and shocking, with a few jokes that prompt shocked gasps before the laugh arrives. For me, it worked and I laughed pretty consistently throughout, even if some stuff doesn’t quite work (a running gag about Patrick Warburton’s angry, violent gay friend didn’t work at all for me).
Most of the jokes hit the mark however and the plot is simple but handled well. The strongest asset is the chemistry between John and Ted, their friendship feels natural and relaxed, and Wahlberg impresses again with his comedic chops.
Seth MacFarlane’s voice work is on point and Ted continues to be an oddly likable character, and the contrast between his cuddly appearance and what comes out of his mouth continues to amuse.
The rest of the cast do their jobs well, and their are plenty of cameos along the way.
Replacing Mila Kunis as the female lead Amanda Seyfried is sweet and funny as their pop culture illiterate lawyer. Her interplay with the others works, but her character is a bit underwritten and the relationship with John is rushed. It also doesn’t feel as real or involving as the relationship in the first, and the casual away this is cast aside in the movie is a real sore spot for me.
But this aside it’s still a very successful comedy that had me chuckling throughout and has some genuinely shocking lines in. May be too rude and crude for some, but it worked for me.
Verdict: Not as good as the first, with a less involving plot, but MacFarlane, Wahlberg and Seyfried all do well. Not for all tastes but for those who like their comedy a bit more risqué this won’t disappoint. 7/10.
Any thoughts? You know what go do. BETEO.