When Seth MacFarlane announced that he would be directing a live action film about a man and his toy teddy bear that comes to life, speculations and skepticism arose. Of course it did, because what could the creator of satirical tv series like ‘American Dad’ and the ever popular ‘Family Guy’ possibly bring to the table of live action cinema?
Well, the answer to that question required us to step back and realize just what kind of person MacFarlane is. His political views, religious views, and social ideas. These are what he inserts into his comedies (he’s now made three live action ones) as well as his animated programs.
Interestingly, I was dragged into the theater to see the first ‘Ted’ movie, as I had practically no interest in seeing the final results of the animated-turned-live action director. To my surprise, ‘Ted’ was hilarious, a sharply written comedy with satire straight out of ‘Family Guy’ and a collage of ridiculous gags that seemed to serve no purpose to the overall climax of the film.
Still, it worked. Quite well, actually. And even though ‘Ted 2’ doesn’t have the same amount of laughs that came along with the first one, it does have the same quality of laughs (when they come).
Whether it be a couple cameos that are there just to be there (one in particular which involves [a man] purchasing a box of Trix cereal that had me laughing minutes after it had ended) or a scene laughably devoting itself to ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Ted 2’ is stuffed with material that doesn’t hit quite as much as it would like to, but still isn’t completely lacking when it comes to making us laugh on more than one occasion.
What fails in this sequel, however, is the inconsistency of the script, which has an interestingly relevant plot regarding civil rights (Ted isn’t considered a person, so he goes to court to prove himself as a conscious being that should have rights). Now, I liked this plot very much, but the issue is that it deviates from it completely in the third act as we see a literal rehash of the third act of the first film ensue.
It was, in a way, entertaining to see Mark Wahlberg’s John and Amanda Seyfried’s Samantha (a better counterpart than Mila Kunis was) chasing Giovani Ribisi’s whacko Donny through Comic-Con (much cooler than through the streets and a football field), but after a while it becomes exhausting.
It’s almost as if the writers forgot that the film had started as a Civil Rights issue kind of movie, but it doesn’t forget to rediscover it and wrap it all up in the final few minutes, which makes it feel very rushed and problematic.
Still, seeing Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Wahlberg) interacting is something magical, and this is a very entertaining couple of buddy/stoner movies, but if you want a movie that aims for stupid laughs while still being kind of smart without completely losing itself halfway through, you’ll find more of it in the first one.
1 hr. 50 mins.
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarland, Amanda Seyfried
Written by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Directed by Seth MacFarlane