UK Release Date: 8th July 2015
Runtime: 116 minutes
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Morgan Freeman, Giovanni Ribisi
Synopsis: When his plans to adopt a child with his wife are vetoed by the courts, Ted must prove he is a human being in the eyes of the law.
With the dual comic heft of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg at its back, Ted became a box office hit in the summer of 2012. After MacFarlane struggled to draw money with A Million Ways to Die in the West, a Ted sequel was inevitable. This time, the bear with a heart of gold and a mouth like a sewer is battling the American legal system.
Ted (MacFarlane) marries his long-term partner Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and they agree to start a family. However, John (Wahlberg) cannot be a sperm donor and so the couple turns to adoption. The courts put an end to that plan, ruling Ted as property rather than human. With the help of young lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), Ted mounts a battle to prove that he is human.
The issue with Ted 2 from the very start is that there’s no discipline in the way the narrative unfolds. I can only assume that there’s a much longer cut of the film knocking about somewhere, in which the myriad plot strands all get the time they need to breathe. However, in the cut that was shown in cinemas, MacFarlane’s story lacks focus and flits around like a hyperactive child in an attempt to use all of its ideas.
| "We just broke into Tom Brady’s house and tried to jerk him off – you’re ready to be a parent."
The basic plot is an interesting idea, but it’s one that is consistently let down by the way MacFarlane’s humour constantly resorts to crass stereotypes in lieu of any actual intelligence. There are laughs in Ted 2, but there are dozens more jokes that land like lead balloons, lacking in any sort of finesse. For every sharp jab at Amanda Seyfried’s enormous eyes, there’s a tired “chicks with dicks” gag.
It doesn’t help that Wahlberg, whose chemistry with Ted helped the first film pack real charm, is relegated from co-lead to a thankless supporting player in Ted 2. Seyfried, too, does her best but is too often a pot-smoking punchline rather than a fully developed character. The less said about Giovanni Ribisi, returning as the first film’s villain in a thankless role, the better. His particular thread is relegated to a mere device to move the narrative into its third act.
Ted 2 is simply not as funny as the first film and, therefore, its flaws come to the surface. The under-developed characters, thin story and uncomfortably off-colour humour are all major drawbacks in a film that quite simply doesn’t contain as many laughs as such a bum-achingly long comedy should.
| "I’m real sorry. That barn just came out of nowhere."
MacFarlane has shown himself to be a filmmaker capable of remarkable hits, but also rather large misses. Ted 2 is an example of a film that was evidently better in conception than it was in execution, arriving on screen as a muddle of ideas that never coalesce into an enjoyable whole.
Pop or Poop?
There are some solid laughs in Ted 2 and the game cast make the most of the material, but unfortunately Seth MacFarlane’s script is below par and muddled.
Ted 2 stands as a clear example of how some films should be left as one-off stories. Not everything needs or deserves a sequel.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.