Ted 2

Release: Friday, June 26, 2015

[Theater]

Written by: Seth MacFarlane; Alec Sulkin; Wellesley Wild

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane

Ted 2 turns out to be ridiculous, which in itself is ridiculous. . .because it’s ridiculous to think the first was ridiculous enough to justify something ridiculous like a sequel.

Everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed stuffed teddy is growing up in the follow-up to Seth MacFarlane’s surprisingly successful debut about a child who wishes for his favorite cuddly toy to one day come to life. Now Ted’s getting married to his bear-boo, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) — who barely gets to show any, boo!

As predictable as an episode of Family Guy, a conflict materializes out of rather contrived circumstances, where we see their relationship falling on emotional hard times only shortly after nuptials were made official. Desperate to make Tami-Lynn happy again, Ted suggests they have a child, reasoning that if they learned to love a kid they might remember how to love each other again. Of course the epiphany has probably come right on the heels of what may presumably have been Ted’s fifth or sixth Bud Light. Still, it’s . . . it’s whatever. It works, leave it alone and let’s move on.

When finding sperm donors proves to be more of an issue than the couple expect, they turn to adoption as their last resort. Sadly it’s a move that brings the crushing blow of reality down upon them when their applications draw attention from the state government. Ted and Tami-Lynn’s marriage becomes annulled when officials declare Ted isn’t human, rather just a piece of property. He then finds himself enlisting the help of his thunder-buddy-for-life John (Mark Wahlberg) in his quest to prove both his status as a human being and a citizen of Boston, and that his marriage should be recognized as legal. It may not be a voice many are expecting to hear, but MacFarlane does contribute something to the conversation surrounding marriage equality and it’s welcomed.

What the film lacks in MacFarlane’s signature, perfectly choreographed musical interludes it makes up for with a surprisingly sensitive story. Suffice it to say, there have been far worse comedy sequels before; MacFarlane could have also chosen to build upon his western comedy concept. He shows restraint by not going that route. Not that this film is going to go down as a particularly memorable comedy. MacFarlane still can’t help but sketch outlines of supporting characters who do nothing more than function as signposts, convenient for when you inevitably get lost in this meandering little tale. Amanda Seyfried, while likable enough, seems to be twiddling her thumbs with her throw-away role of a pot-smoking attorney. Morgan Freeman is all but wasted as a more reputable civil rights attorney they all hope will help them after failing to get the courts to rule in favor of Ted and Tami-Lynn in the first of several courtroom scenes.

Beyond failing to justify such big names in such insignificant roles MacFarlane struggles to shape all the events into a cohesive whole. Although it feels slightly less episodic than the last outing, and certainly less so than A Million Ways to Die in the West, this narrative does its fair share of aimless wandering as Ted and John befriend Seyfried’s Samantha Jackson. As their legal representative she has the appearance of being book-smart, but then she smokes a ton of weed in her office so she’s obviously not too street smart. Do we need a 10-minute scene to get that point across, though? Freeman gets to have his moments (hearing him deliver the line “After I’m finished fucking myself. . .” is for some reason very satisfying), even if they, too, contribute far more to a bloated running time than to this campaign for emotional resonance. Indeed, the first time we even meet Freeman’s character it turns out to be nothing more than a wild goose chase. But hey — more time spent with this adorable teddy bear and his likable Bostonian pothead friend, the better, right?

There’s plenty of time to spend, too. At five minutes shy of two hours Ted 2 runs a risk of overstaying its furry little welcome. There’s this whole other subplot involving Hasbro toys and the company’s evil underbelly — John Carroll Lynch’s money-hungry executive and a creepazoid janitor named Donny, played once again with unbridled enthusiasm by the one and only Giovanni Ribisi. These men are after the teddy bear, determined the court will rule against Ted and declare him property, thereby making it legally safer for Hasbro to abduct the toy and use him in experiments to see if they can recreate his lifelikeness in other bears. It’s up to, who else, the stoner lawyer and her newfound friend John to save the bear from danger and then also get him legally declared a person before the film reel runs out. Ted 2 stuffs a lot in and not all of it works, but on the whole this sequel charms just as much as the stuff(ing) upon which it is based.

Recommendation: I never would have thought I’d be here justifying another round of teddy-bear-related hijinks but here I am doing just that. Ridiculous. On that ground alone, MacFarlane’s third feature film directorial effort should be labeled a success. If you laughed at the first one, you’ll likely have a good time with this, even though it in no way demands to be seen in theaters. 

Rated: R

Running Time: 115 mins.

Quoted: “Did you hear that? You’re covered in rejected black men’s semen. You look like a Kardashian.”

All content originally published and the reproduction elsewhere without the expressed written consent of the blog owner is prohibited.

Photo credits: http://www.impawards.com; http://www.imdb.com 

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29 thoughts on “Ted 2

  1. Great work! I didn’t watch the first one and have no interest in doing so, it just doesn’t look like my cup of tea, and saw the trailer for this one and was really unimpressed. I am glad to see you had such a good time with all the ridiculous though 🙂

    • As a fan of Family Guy I couldn’t help myself hahah. I originally was going to blow this off, I didn’t think we needed a sequel. It’s just more of the same stuff. And to be honest the first was still better I think

    • Fair’s fair man, Ted 2 will do absolutely nothing for you if yo didn’t enjoy the first. Me, personally? I didn’t think we needed a follow-up and I’m surprised I ended up watching it in theaters but some part of me has this infatuation with anything Seth MacFarlane does. Idk why. He’s not really that good haha

    • Yeah me neither Louie. I was prepared to give this a miss actually, and maybe catch it on DVD later but for some reason I guess there were a few more positive reviews from people I really trust and that pushed me into a theater. I was glad, there were some pretty hysterical bits in it, even if the thing overall feels so damn episodic. I know, nitpick nitpick . . . but, come on. Let me nitpick!! 😉

  2. I shamelessly laughed my ass off watching the first movie and hoped they would leave it at that, although its success made this inevitable. I’m surprised this is as good as you say; was expecting this to get a real going over from you!

    • 😉 I was actually fully prepared to give this the what-for, but ended up laughing myself stupid throughout this one. Plot-wise it’s worse off, but then again its another MacFarlane production so whoever is coming in expecting an intricately detailed story I think is being a bit unrealistic. If you’re coming for some good MacFarlane comedy again, def see it. (I’d skip AMWTDITW tho if you have yet to see that either)

  3. I think I may finally give this a watch sometime next week. I’m actually not expecting much, and some possibly overdone and unneeded jokes, but it’s MacFarlane right? I should know 100% of what I’m getting into when purchasing admission to one of his productions lol.

    Great writing as always.

    • I think if you go in expecting just what you just said, you’ll find a lot to like with this. It’s 100% Seth MacFarlane. My concern was he struck comedy gold in 2012, but could he strike it twice? I ended up being surprised. Hope you enjoy yourself dude!

  4. Great write up as per usual mate. Thou Seth Macfarlane lost me a long time ago, Family Guy was a guilty pleasure, but American Dad was a great show, it just ran outta steam.

    At least with his cartoons, there is too much reliance on pop culture. For example, your last quote means absolutely nothing to me, though I’m sure its hilarious in the right context. I’m not sure I’ll ever watch one of his movies, though it is nice to hear of a sequel that isn’t horrible

    • Yeah I really started not paying as much attention to the later years of FG and I have watched all of like two episodes of American Dad and didn’t much care for them. MacFarlane is really really hit-and-miss but at least here he’s back to hitting it again. 🙂 I guess a good rule of thumb is to expect every other work of his to be good and the other ones to just suck. 😛

        • Ted is what I would recommend, it’s pretty funny. HIs second outing, A Million Ways to Die in the West, is not worth it in my opinion. But if u got time check it all out. He’s got an interesting sense of humor, that’s all sure!

    • MacFarlane has always been one of those you either love or you hate, I guess maybe the backlash has grown since he’s become more prominent starting to make a go of making feature films. In my book he’s 2/3 right now, but the 1 that wasn’t good was really not good. He has to have good material to make his sense of humor not completely water down everything it deals with. If you’re a fan of good (i.e. older) episodes of Family Guy, you’ll enjoy Ted 2.

  5. I felt the same way. Ted 2 is more of the same so if you liked the first, you should enjoy the second. I guess people decided the little bear had overstayed his welcome. This only did about a third of the business of the original. Kind of surprising since most pundits had predicted this would be one of the summer’s big hits. Great review!

    • I was surprised I enjoyed Ted’s presence as much as I did this time, I thought this was going to be a case of a novel concept being bled dry but seeing him in certain situations in Ted 2 still made the concept work like new. It’s definitely not quite as funny as seeing him come to life in the first one, but there was way more to like here than I thought there would be. I’m glad I gave it a shot!

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