Film Review: Ted 2

Ted 2

Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2 is an apt follow-up to the 2012 hit comedy. The brand of humour will not appeal to all, but there’s certainly an audience who will find the film very funny.

Ted, still working at the supermarket, is now married and seeks to adopt a child with his wife. When the process raises questions of Ted’s legitimacy as a person, he enlists best friend John and young lawyer Samantha on his quest for civil rights…

Director and co-writer Seth MacFarlane offers more of the same with this sequel to the comedy hit Ted.  The film once again relies on crude comedy and pop culture references as its source of humour. Ted 2 might not be sophisticated, but it should make viewers laugh.

This time around, the narrative concentrates on Ted being denied basic rights and taking the matter to court. It is perhaps not the tangent fans of the first film would expect Ted 2 to take. Nevertheless, the plot of the first film demanded that this sequel explored a different avenue, and the theme of the film is perfectly adequate.

The comedy is crude, relying on a similar set of jokes as the first film. If the pot-and-pop-culture references suit viewers, then Ted 2 definitely works as a comedy. Some of the jokes are vulgar, others are juvenile, but most are successful. The film is littered with little cutaways, not unlike MacFarlane’s Family Guy.

Mark Wahlberg reprises his role as John. This time, he plays second fiddle to MacFarlane’s voicing of Ted. Amanda Seyfried is a good addition to the cast, in that she plays a central female character with similar characteristics to the pair. Ted 2 tries to be a little more evolved with its views than its predecessor, and this is a welcome change.

Ted 2 delivers the style of humour that MacFarlane fans will be accustomed to. No real surprises here, but entertaining for those who enjoyed the first outing.

Film Review: Ted

Those familiar with the level of crassness associated with Seth MacFarlane will be greatly amused and entertained by Ted. Occasionally close to the bone, Ted is nevertheless very funny.

As a child, John Bennett wishes that his teddy bear would come to life. When that wish comes true, John is the happiest boy in the world. As an adult, John is still best friends with Ted. John and Ted’s friendship is tested when John’s girlfriend Lori wants more from their relationship…

Ted offers a premise that most children would dream of; a cherished teddy bear coming to life. Despite this childhood wish fulfilment, and indeed the amusing opening gambit, MacFarlane’s film offers the flipside to what could have been an enchanting tale. John has to deal with Ted as an adult, a bear who appears to be stuck in perpetual adolescence while John needs to mature for the sake of his relationship. Whilst Ted is an amusing and affable character, it would be a hard sell to describe him as cute and cuddly.

The jokes in Ted are frequent, and hit the mark the vast majority of the time. Seth MacFarlane’s imprint is all over the film; fans of Family Guy will recognise several facets. There are plenty of references, particularly to 1980s popular culture. There are also some great cameos in the film.

The more emotional content of Ted works surprisingly well, most likely because it is couched by humour instead of becoming indulgently sentimental. The narration at the beginning of the film is a fantastic introduction, and a good indicator of the type of humour that viewers can expect. Mark Wahlberg shows off his comedy skills as John. Mila Kunis is as watchable as ever as Lori. Voicing Ted, MacFarlane’s voice brings life and personality to the character.