Ted 2 Review

The Plot

Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg are back as everyone’s favourite Thunder Buddies. With a recently married Ted (MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) looking to become parents, Ted finds he has to prove he’s a person in a court of law with the help of lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried).

The Good

Surprisingly enough, for a comedy Ted 2 works best in the non-comedic moments. Instead of focusing on the relationship between Wahlberg’s Johnny and Mila Kunis’ Lori (more on which later) Ted 2 makes the titular character the main driving force of the story and wraps it in a courtroom drama amongst the tirade of jokes. While it is indeed ridiculous, there is an interesting message about equality that MacFarlane tries to put forward which, though it becomes mostly suffocated by the constant jokes.

That’s not to say the jokes are all miss and no hit. One particular highlight comes in true MacFarlane style with a dark and twisted scene at an improv show in which Ted and Johnny try to cheer themselves up by suggesting some outrageous scenarios for the poor performers. The rest of the hits come few and far apart…

The Bad

A lot of the jokes featured are at the expense of references to other, more respected and funnier films. Not so subtle nods are made towards films like Jurassic Park, Planes Trains and Automobiles, and The Breakfast Club, all of which are focused on for far too long to simply satisfy the audience.

Then there are the cameos. The two main ones (for UK audiences at least) being Jay Leno and Liam Neeson. Both of which feel cheap and struggle to bring many giggles. Neeson’s is the biggest offender, again trying to reference his current gruff voiced action hero stereotype but spending too long on it.

On the subject of the previously mentioned relationship between Johnny and Lori, Mila Kunis is very noticeably missing from the cast in this sequel. Her absence is explained away in a throwaway comment about the two having split up six months earlier. With reports that Kunis didn’t return due to both her pregnancy and MacFarlane’s desire to keep the focus away from Johnny and Lori’s relationship this time round, it’s understandable, yet still somewhat disappointing to see her written off in one sentence.

And while MacFarlane tries to keep the focus on Ted for this sequel, inevitably a familiar face returns, giving the final act a horrible feeling of ‘been there done that’.

The Ugly Truth

While the film’s main story and attempt at serious subtext is interesting and clearly trying to feel different from its predecessor, Ted 2 ultimately fails due to a high number of jokes falling flat. The film can’t avoid falling back on bad habits and being reliant on overlong cameos and clunky references to other films. The low-bro novelty value of MacFarlane’s foul mouthed teddy bear may already have worn off.

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