Ted 2 Review: Rude, Crude and Still Very Funny
Ted 2 doesn't hold a candle to the original film, but it entertains enough to warrant a trip to the theater. It could be that the initial premise has lost its luster and that the audience expects more from the story. The pacing is a bit slow and the laughs are mostly middling, but there are some genuine moments of knockdown hilarity. The comedy is what you expect from Seth McFarlane; juvenile, lewd, profane, with sexual antics galore. Anyone seeing this film knows what to expect, so they shouldn't be surprised or offended by anything this talking teddy bear says.
Ted 2 begins with the marriage of Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). The not so innocent bride and plushy groom are madly in love. Alas all has not turned out well for best buddy John (Mark Wahlberg), who's recently divorced and taking up unhealthy porn fixations. A year later, with their marriage on the rocks, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to save their marriage by having a baby. While embarking on several cringe worthy expeditions to find a sperm donor, Ted finds himself in serious legal trouble. The government doesn't think of Ted as a person, but a piece of property. This legal hitch is gleefully pointed out by the psychotic Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) to an unscrupulous executive (John Carrol Lynch) at Hasbro. Ted goes to court to fight for his rights, defended by a plucky, pot-smoking, pro-bono lawyer (Amanda Seyfried).
Credit must be given to Seth MacFarlane as the director and his effects team for the realistic integration of Ted in pretty much every scene. I took this for granted in the first film, but the effects work in the sequel is tremendous. We forget that we're looking at a digital character. The comedy is the obvious draw, but Ted 2 is an effects film. It wouldn't resonate if Ted looked fake or too CGI. The magic of filmmaking is selling a fantasy. Here, we really do believe a teddy bear can come alive...smoke pot and engage in deviant sexual activities.
The overall humor is worth the price of admission. There's a bit of filler which should have been cut to make the film shorter. I chalk this up to MacFarlane probably having final cut rights. Slapstick movies lose me when I feel like I'm watching a series of skits. Ted 2 doesn't suffer too much from this problem, but it does run long. The chemistry between Amanda Seyfried and Mark Wahlberg works. Their relationship comes off as sweet, endearing. This was a strength of the first film with Mila Kunis. It's a pleasant surprise, again with credit to Seth MacFarlane, for casting an actress that would work well with Wahlberg.
Fans of the first film will definitely like Ted 2. Casual audiences may find it to be infantile, but unless you're a robot, you will laugh a few times. There's a few nods and winks to another mega-hit from Universal that are especially clever.