Duo Film Review: Ted 2
Comedy that is shipped over from the US into our beloved country always seems to be an example of something having that “marmite factor” whereby you either love it or loathe it. In the case of Seth MacFarlane and his own personal brand of comedy, I do believe he is a talent, with the first few seasons of Family Guy still being his opus magnum in my opinion, but any talent he does possess is seemingly starting to wear thin and I can’t work out whether my taste for his humour has outgrown me or whether it is just plain bad. What an opportunity it was then for Mr Macfarlane to solidify his stance as one of the US’s leading comedic flagships with the release of Ted 2, a sequel to the 2012 comedy featuring MacFarlane himself as the voice of the titular living, breathing teddy bear and “Marky” Mark Wahlberg as best friend John Bennett. A return to form for Mr MacFarlane you ask? I’m not too sure.
After a year of marriage to partner Tami-Lynn, Ted (MacFarlane) believes the best way to revive their eroding relationship is to raise a child as their own through means of adoption after Tami-Lynn is found to be infertile due to heavy drug use. Due to the application of such an adoption, Ted is red-flagged as being property and not in fact human, leading to his marriage being annulled and a court case to determine whether such a status can be revoked. With “thunder buddy for life”, John at his side, along with attorney Samantha L Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), Ted must face the power of the courts in order to claim his life back once again. In terms of the comedic value of Ted 2, MacFarlane does manage to include some funny set pieces that although are heavily influenced by the slapstick comedy prevalent in Family Guy, was quite effective in some areas of the film throughout its’ overlong two-hour runtime. Funny too were incidents in which humour was placed just below, or even slightly above the line of bad taste, particularly in one scene in which Ted and John rudely interrupt an improvised comedy sketch.
Now here are the problems. Firstly, there are few too many jokes within Ted 2 that just don’t hit the mark at all and actually end up being rather cringe-worthy, particularly the recurring jokes about men’s genitals and Amanda Seyfried’s character being called Samuel L. Jackson which when repeated actually brought about silence into the screening I was in instead of rapturous laughter which I assume Seth MacFarlane, in all his infinite wisdom, was aiming for. Secondly, the film’s plot has a fairly similar design to its’ titular character, with them both being rather hollow and stuffed with rather inanimate rubbish, such as weird, out-of-place cameos from people such as Liam Neeson who had obviously just turned up for the paycheck in a scene which may have better suited something like Family Guy instead of a feature film in which it made no sense whatsoever.
Lastly, the films’ treatment of women, geeks, and other separate groups of people aside from either single hunk-man or teddy bear was actually rather crass and immature as well as lazy on the writers’ part showcasing how although Seth MacFarlane can be funny in places, overall, his comedy seemingly only encompasses that of a mind of a teenager desperate to show how much swearing he can fit into one single sentence whist feeling anxious at the lack of sexual endeavors he has explored in his life to date. The “marmite factor” that is so often the case when it comes to Seth MacFarlane was highly evident once again in Ted 2, a film that although was funny in places, was rather unremarkable and quite tedious on the face of it resulting in Mr MacFarlane once again failing to align himself with the gold-star comedy he may or may not be capable of.
Dan’s Score: 4/10
Ted 2 is a comedy movie which answers the age old question of, ‘How the fuck does this bear legally work and marry?’ Well, it gets answered and we see that Ted 2 is based on giving Ted (Seth MacFarlane) personship and civil rights to work, marry and adopt a child as being a classified human entity. As we know though, the film won’t be all doom and gloom and the ending is guaranteed from the start but its the journey that gets them there. John (Mark Wahlberg) is now single after Mila Kunis left him and is down in the dumps until the duo come across Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) while on the search for a lawyer to represent Ted. John’s story is him finding love and how the pairs attraction flourishes as they get high and help their friend, Ted is merely along for the ride. As far as comedies go nowadays, this story is one of the betters. No plot holes, loops or anything to confuse, a very linear sequence with a few reflections of the past installment but altogether fun and engaging.
Comedies aren’t something you can rate like any other film, it is the most subjective genre out there and lacks the artsy glitz and glam of Hollywood blockbusters and art house films. The film looks wonderful, a couple of shots gained through a GoPro don’t have an effect on the viewing and the VFX for Ted were almost perfect. Seth MacFarlane has a warehouse of talents and it’s almost always promised that you will come out of the theater with a smile. His selection of music gives transitions a very classic feel with a variety of names that remind me of his Oscars show a few years back (Still my favourite). Honestly, it’s a well made movie. Production has been key and they’ve made it look and sound fantastic, the casting was ramped up and the acting was nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated. Now the comedy. The struggle. Often enough I was laughing away at the obscenities and antics that the group got up to but American pop culture references dropped like a stone. Its universal audience watched as a moment of silence ensued for comedic effect but brought no laughs. References like this ruined certain scenes, made them null and void for anyone watching. It leaves you wondering exactly what is going on.
Not many people will know Tom Brady outside of the US and I’m probably one of few to know who he actually is but his history requires a shred of knowledge of American ‘Football’. It’s not all bad! In fact, when things like this weren’t going on, I was constantly wiping tears from my eyes, more so at a particular improvisation scene which has me laughing still 24 hours on and a lot of hyper-sensitive farts pissed. Perhaps its my morbid sense of humour but I really love jokes that can be offensive. I love Jeremy Clarkson and Frankie Boyle for those exact reasons. Ted 2 surpassed the original and although certain story elements were repeated in this, they were better executed with a level of comedy that was far more confident than that previously. Everything looked wonderful and it was a fun movie. Its good entertainment for those who want something simple and it’s probably one of the better examples of American comedies I’ve seen in a while.
Pete’s Score: 7/10
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Posted on 11/07/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged Amanda Seyfried, american, comedy, entertainment, Film 2015, Film Review, Giovanni Ribisi, Mark Wahlberg, Morgan Freeman, review, Seth Macfarlane, Ted 2, Universal Pictures. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.