Written by Christian James Haight
Writer, director and star Seth MacFarlane surprised audiences with the hilarious “Ted” in 2012. A film about a man named John, played by Mark Wahlberg, who wished his teddy bear, named Ted and voiced by MacFarlane, would come to life as a kid, and long behold Ted grew a conscious of his own. Thirty years later they smoked a lot of pot, and got themselves into a lot of trouble. The recent sequel to the comedy, “Ted 2” is practically the same exact thing. MacFarlane and Wahlberg are back to bring the crazy duo to the big screen once again, where they sue the state of Massachusetts for Ted’s civil rights.
Beginning with the wedding ceremony between Ted and his girlfriend from the first movie, Tami-Lynn, played by Jessica Barth. As the happy couple have their first dance, John sits at a table alone reminiscing of his six yearlong marriage that ended half-a-year ago. Ted cheers John up with some best friend talk, and before we know it the movie jumps a year into the future and John is still hung up on divorce and Ted and Tami-Lynn are having problems of their own. With couple’s therapy not working, Ted takes the advice of a co-worker that he and Tami-Lynn should have a baby in order to help each other fall back in love.
Since Ted is only a teddy bear, they’ll obviously need to find a sperm donor and after a few funny scenes of Ted and John trying to find a good sperm donor, the two decide that it’d probably just be best if Ted and Tami-Lynn used John’s sperm. Although as the three begin to try and get the process going, Ted finds out that he can’t legally father a child because according to the government he’s not a person. From there, Ted and John are forced to fight the state of Massachusetts in a court of law to prove that Ted deserves to be considered a human just like everyone else.
The movie has its problems, but one of the strongest parts of the first movie, and again one of the strongest parts here, is the chemistry between MacFarlane and Wahlberg, and the fact that MacFarlane only voices the character of Ted makes their chemistry even more impressive. The two really bring that friendship to life and that allows for the audience to believe everything that they say. Mia Kunis, who played John’s girlfriend in the first movie, did not return for the second film and instead Amanda Seyfried, who played Ted’s lawyer named Samantha, joined the cast to play John’s romantic interest. Typically this is an automatic screw-up when it comes to sequels. Replacing a character with another just to fill that empty space typically leads to a forced relationship that audiences are not able to buy. Instead, Seyfried’s chemistry with her two co-stars really worked for the film. Also John’s divorce was mentioned at multiple points which really made it believable, unlike in other movies where it would be mentioned in the beginning and never spoken about again. A divorce is a huge part of someone’s life and MacFarlane did a good job at making sure this was clear to the audience.
While the film had some good laugh out loud moments, a lot of the comedy didn’t hit the spot and in fact it just produced a short awkward silence through the theater. The movie made the same mistake that “Entourage” did by relying too heavily on celebrity cameos instead of actually brainstorming a well-thought-out joke. Although there was one incredibly funny cameo including Liam Neeson, the rest seemed dry and unneeded and if cut out would have made the movie shorter, which would have been a great thing due to the movie feeling twenty minutes too long.
Without considering the absence of Kunis, “Ted 2” was able to grab everyone that was memorable from the original movie. Including the original protagonist, Donny, played by Giovanni Ribisi, who in the first movie attempted to kidnap Ted in order to keep for himself. In “Ted 2” Donny once again plays the role of the protagonist, and although he’s shown throughout the entire movie, he doesn’t really play a significant role in the film till the third act. Which is ultimately where the movie began to fall apart.
The movie’s downfall had nothing to do with Ribisi, the problem was that MacFarlane used the same exact formula from the first movie, and even though he mixed it around just a tad, it didn’t work as a satisfying ending. The movie went from having a great first and second act to an outstretched third act. Just like in the first, it tried to include some good action and also play with the audiences’ emotions with a serious atmosphere. While this sort of third act worked incredibly well for the first film, for the second it seemed overdone and something that fans of “Ted” have seen before.
A MacFarlane film can typically go one of two ways, either it’ll be a fun time such as “Ted,” or it’ll be a complete flop like his latest movie, “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” While “Ted 2” didn’t live up to its predecessor, it was definitely better than “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” It has its problems, but MacFarlane uses the sequel to prove that he still knows how to make a summer comedy. Those who had a fun time with “Ted” will still find enjoyment in “Ted 2.”
- Director: Seth MacFarlane
- Writers: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
- Actors: Mark Wahlberg
- Genre: Comedy
- Run Time: 1 hour 48 minutes
Pros: A few funny moments that were not shown in the trailers; great chemistry between MacFarlane and Wahlberg; makes for a good sequel to the first.
Cons: Too much of the plot is pulled directly from the first movie; long stretches of time without any funny jokes; the ending seems to drag on.
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