June 29, 2015

Movie Review: Ted 2

It was just about three years ago that Family Guy/American Dad mastermind Seth MacFarlane made the jump from the animates small screen to the live action big screen with the first Ted film. Now, these are not to be confused with Ted Talks, those are quite a different thing. Ted seems to be much more like the grown up adventures of Stewie and his teddy bear, Rupert. Of course, the names were changed to protect the innocent, but the thought process seems pretty on point. Anyway, the sequel picks up some years later with Ted marrying his girlfriend from the first film, Tami-Lynn, and then the couple deciding to have a baby. Comedy ensues.

Simply put, the movie is pretty much a mess. That is not to say it doesn't have its funny points or even have a little bit of something to say. The problem is that it feels, much like the first, to be a short story expanded by overlong scenes, cameos, and (again, like Family Guy) non-sequiturs and cutaway gags. I think what would have helped the film would have been another couple of passes through the editing room. Although, one has to consider that perhaps the length of many pointless scenes may be, itself, part of the point. Then I consider again and just wish it was shorter.

As laggy as the film was, there has to be something said about the timeliness of the tale being told. The main part of the story centers on Ted and his needing to prove his humanity. So, he goes to court to try and prove that he is as human as the rest of the people around him. It all ties in with the recent SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, there is even talk of gay rights in the film. It has to be considered a happy thematic coincidence making the movie more appropriate that it really needs to be.

So, through all of the vulgarity and drug use, there is an underlying point to it all. It just uses the vulgarity, drugs, racism, homophobia, and everything else to sort of key in on his target audience. I may not be the biggest fan of Seth MacFarlane, but he is not stupid. He knows who his audience is and plays right to them, if something positive makes its way out there, all the better.

Again, I would be lying if I said it wasn't funny, it was. I liked the bit at Comic Con and a couple of the cameos worked out pretty well. The movie also shows Mark Wahlberg with more personality than you usually see from him. I thought the civil rights points were good, but were really just a backdrop to the comedy.

Ted 2 is pretty much what I was expecting it to be, crass vulgar, sporadically funny, a bit too long, and in the end I did not hate nor did I really like it. It is a middle of the road movie that had potential to be something better. Sure, check it out, I suspect more people will like it than I.

Mildly Recommended.

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