A Million Ways To Die In The West, Amanda Seyfried, American Dad, Animation, Cinema, Comedy, Family Guy, Film, Fox, Giovanni Ribisi, John Bennett, Liam Neeson, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Morgan Freeman, Movie Review, Seth MacFarlane, Ted, Ted 2
“Ted 2” is a decent film with plenty of memorable moments; we see hilarious hijinks aplenty, and it’s genuinely hard not to laugh at some of the more despicable jokes that the writers fire at every available target. It isn’t perfect – for every joke that hits the mark there’s another that falls flat, usually because the build-up is there solely to facilitate an upcoming punchline, but it makes up for its failings by attacking the audience with a constant stream of gags, so that they quickly forget the bad ones. I liked what I saw, and although the more critical side of me wants to penalise the film for basically being a live-action “Family Guy” homage involving a talking teddy, I think it would be wrong to review the film negatively when people who like this sort of humour will be more than satisfied.
“Ted 2” follows the titular teddy bear, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, as he attempts to prove his humanity and be deemed worthy of being called a person, rather than ‘property’. Assisting him in his efforts are his best friend and thunder buddy John (Mark Wahlberg) and their intern lawyer Samantha L. Jackson, played by the ever-reliable and extremely likeable Amanda Seyfried. The story is a lot more coherent than it was in the first film and I actually really liked it – I thought it was a clever way to facilitate tropes that Seth MacFarlane loves to use, like cross-country road trips and courtroom craziness, and it also gave the character’s a bit more depth than they had in “Ted”.
Wahlberg and Seyfried have surprising chemistry, and it’s refreshing to see Seyfried play such a care-free and easy-going character. She doesn’t take herself too seriously here, and she brings a lot of energy to her character. Wahlberg is much better in this film than he was in the predecessor, and although he doesn’t do that much I thought he was as good as can be expected in this kind of role. He has a rapport with Ted even though the bear isn’t really there, and he’s just ridiculous enough to deliver his lines believably whilst remaining entertaining.
Beyond the main cast there are some enjoyable performances, particularly Liam Neeson’s in what was an unexpected and brilliant cameo. I won’t give anything away about the short scene that he was involved in, but it was my favourite of the film. Morgan Freeman is also involved in the film, although he plays a peripheral figure and has very few meaningful moments.
I personally didn’t care for the musical numbers in “Ted 2”, mainly because they don’t speak to my tastes and I find them a bit distracting. The first of these in particular was a real disappointment, because the movie had just started and the jokes were beginning to flow, so to spend two or three minutes on a sequence that had no humour seemed extremely odd. It took me out of the film and destroyed the momentum that I thought might be building into a pretty funny wedding reception – an inappropriate best man’s speech or an eccentric first dance would’ve been a much more fruitful use of those minutes.
Comedy sequels are difficult, because you want to do something different while keeping things amusing, but the things that the audience found amusing in the first film are usually integral to that movie’s plot and the universe that it built. As a result, lots of comedy sequels end up doing the exact same things that their predecessors did, meaning that jokes feel too familiar and fall flat, and in the end the film feels a bit like a cash grab. On that front this movie isn’t entirely innocent; “Ted 2” rehashes certain plot points, like Donny’s (Giovanni Ribisi) attempting to kidnap Ted, and brings back people like Sam J. Jones playing a parody of himself. Still, these revisited aspects didn’t really harm my experience of the movie itself because they weren’t excessively used, and they simply reminded me of what I enjoyed so much about the first film.
“Ted 2” is funny. If you don’t like Seth MacFarlane’s work in the world of animation or the original film then this probably isn’t for you, but if you do then there’s absolutely no reason that you won’t enjoy it. There are numerous scenes that are just hilarious, and the novelty of a talking teddy bear smoking weed is still as awesome as it was in “Ted”. This is a fun movie that knows exactly what it is and caters to a certain audience, so if you think you might be a part of that demographic I would highly recommend you take the time out of your busy life to eat some popcorn and have a good old chuckle.