Ted 2

Ted 2 photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgFor those unaware, Ted was John’s childhood teddy bear that came to life when he wished for it. Now he’s getting married (the bear not John) to his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn. Ted 2 begins with a wedding. The nuptials climax in a big splashy Busby Berkeley production number that rivals the choreography of those classic pictures. It’s an elegant beginning of well dressed dancers in tuxes and gowns in a choreographed spectacle on a wedding cake. The classy beginning kind of stands in direct contrast to the scene that follows. Time flash forwards 1year and Ted and his once happy bride are now a bickering couple fighting over money. What’s a bear to do?  Following the advice of a co-worker, Ted decides that he and his wife need to have a baby to save their marriage. But Ted lacks the (ahem) reproductive organ needed to get the process started so they decide to adopt. However, and this is where the real story get started, their decision is blocked because Ted isn’t human.

Ah so Ted 2 is a civil rights drama. Well no, it‘s not that socially high minded. I mean the drive to get him legally recognized as a person does underlie the flow of the narrative and it does give it some heft. However the construct is really just an excuse on which to drape a lot of gags. The story is best appreciated as a selection of amusing jokes and naughty shtick. As before, Seth MacFarlane is writer/director/voice star. He remains a clever guy as evidenced by his ability to intelligently poke fun of convention. Even his musical tastes lean to decidedly old fashioned preferences like swing and traditional pop. But his mind is so clearly in the gutter. This is lowbrow comedy about lowbrow people. Ted and his human owner are pretty despicable. They curse, smoke marijuana at every possible moment, hurl abusive epithets and literally hurl apples at passing joggers. But they are crusaders for human rights too so I guess that gives them a purpose.

Ted was a serendipitous success. What made the original so unique was the idea of an anthropomorphized toy that had a cute cuddly exterior but with the personality of an adult in a state of arrested development. Ted 2 feels like your witty party guest that continues to hang out even after 2am. The innovation isn’t new anymore so the novelty is gone. What we have is more of the same. Are the jokes funny? Yes they are. The script is still intelligent. The chronicle is a window into the mind of Seth MacFarlane. Once again he uses the opportunity to make pop culture allusions. For the most part it’s pretty incisive. There are plenty of gags and most of them hit their target. Tom Brady, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried not only add support as actors, but their personas are fodder for some of the funnier laughs. A few guest stars miss though. Michael Dorn and Patrick Warburton play a couple that bully attendees at New York Comic-Con. They’re just insufferably nasty people without any redeeming qualities. But that’s the exception. For most of the running time, Ted 2 offers more hilarious high jinks in the same manner as the first. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re OK with that, then Ted 2 should satisfy your humor cravings.

06-25-15

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17 Responses to “Ted 2”

  1. Very nice surprise to see a positive review. I can’t explain why I’m surprised b/c McFarlane, even with duds like AMWTDITW, he has consistency with how he, as you say, pokes fun of convention. He’s always proven that he’s a smart guy while being filthy and mostly ridiculous. I like Family Guy enough, but I still will probably save the $10 on this by renting it at a later time. I think that’ll be fine for me. Ted was good but not good enough to see its sequel in theaters.

    • I think Seth MacFarlane’s popularity is more concentrated. When Ted became a huge success, it was a surprise. I feel like his movies haven’t been well received since because Seth doesn’t have a broad based appeal.

  2. abbiosbiston Says:

    I quite liked the first one but I am not sure I need another one…

  3. hmmm since i didn’t care for the first one, it sounds like i won’t like this one either.

  4. I thought the first Ted was okay, but didn’t leave me wanting a sequel. Then I saw the trailer for Ted 2 and it had some funny stuff in there, will probably give the movie a watch eventually. At least I know what I’m in for. 😀 Good review!

  5. I think I’m going to skip this and just listen to Seth’s beautiful duet with Sara Bareilles. Wasn’t a fan of the first.

  6. Not as good as the first movie (I FINALLY got around to watching it just the other day, and died laughing), but still a whole lot of fun. Liam Neeson’s scene with the Trix cereal killed me. The sincerity in his voice when he says, “I’ve been led to understand that Trix are exclusively for children,” is absolutely priceless.

  7. This wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still liked it. I really like Seth Macfarland’s sense of humor. So I kinda knew I would like this. The opening scene was awesome. 3 1/2 stars

  8. “This is lowbrow comedy about lowbrow people.” I agree. The civil rights portion is really just an excuse to make a lot of lazy jokes about race. It does provide an interesting set up that the film could have used for decent humor: when Morgan Freeman admits that he didn’t want to help Ted with his legal battle because the character didn’t exhibit any redeeming qualities. If he admitted that in the upfront there could have been an amusing quest where Ted attempts to redeem himself. Would have been much funnier and more effective than the Giovanni Ribisi subplot. Your analogy about the film being the dinner guest who continues to stay past his welcome is an apt one. Some of the cameos are funny, but the Dorn/Warburton one takes a decent joke and beats it to death. For me personally, I laughed the hardest when Ted 2 was referencing other movies. When that’s happening, you know there’s a problem.

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