Friday, June 26, 2015

Ted 2: Movie Review


Crasser doesn't always equal funnier.
The general rule for sequels is bigger and bolder. Ted 2 is just crasser, and that doesn't make it better. Ted and Tami-Lynn have gotten married and decided to have a baby. Ted, of course, can not produce a baby so the first third of the movie are the most ill-conceived, disgusting jokes of Ted and John pulling the worst stunts ever for securing a sperm donor. Some of it is still funny (Ted dressed as Paddington bear to break into Tom Brady's house) but most of it is just how far can we take these jokes. 2015

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane

Screenplay by: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane

John (Mark Wahlberg) is heart-broken after his divorce to Lori, so Ted spends half his time trying to get him to hook up with a girl. This serves the romantic storyline that almost sunk the first movie. But luckily Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) is a much better match for John than Mila Kunis' Lori ever was.

The second act of the movie is the trial. Ted's attempts to have a baby make him noticed by the government and rights which are reserved for people have been taken away from him. His marriage his annulled, he loses his job and his life unravels. So John and Ted come up with the brilliant plan to sue the Massachusetts government to prove that Ted is a human being and has rights.

And that was the brilliant part of the movie – the premise. I was really looking forward to John and Ted acting inappropriately in court. I had visions of Franklin and Bash meets Christoph Waltz from Big Eyes meets Paddington and it was going to be hilarious. There certainly were scenes that showed how funny it could be.

Seyfried's Samantha is the new, young lawyer that Ted and John get since they can't afford one, and in her first scene they find her underneath her desk getting high. A number of solid jokes followed that opening scene. And when Ted finally gets his chance to testify, he's so excited he runs across the court room floor. But a very odd choice was made with the trial. MacFarlane and team decided to compare a talking teddy bear to slaves and claim this is a civil rights issue just like emancipation. I don't know if that was supposed to be funny or serious, and it ended up coming across as neither.

The third act brings the return of Giovanni Ribisi as Donny (he was introduced earlier, but this is when he gets to shine). The third act also takes the good elements of the first Ted and ups the ante. There's a scene involving Ted driving a car, which is bigger, bolder and funnier than the first time. There's a kidnapping plot, with a funny twist. There's Donny dancing. There's Ted singing. And there's the ultimate prank.

The crasser elements of Ted 2 just aren't as funny as they were in the original, and following that up with a somewhat disappointing trial isn't a good start. The final act finally fuses the bigger, bolder and funnier promises, but it's a bit too little, too late. Is it a crass comedy of sperm donation or a serious drama of civil rights and adulthood? It can't be both.

Similar Titles:

Ted (2012) - Offensive, wrong and childish, "Ted" is hilarious and then it becomes a Hollywood rom-com.