Ted 2 review
I have previously reported before that writing comedy is difficult as it relies on two principles; that all comedy is based on misery and that it needs to remain unpredictable. It’s hard for comics, especially for long running comics on Comedy Central or even the Monty Python trope to remain unpredictable because they tend to stick with the methods that work best for a laugh and if you watch something like The Three Stooges or Monty Python long enough, you’ll definitely notice a pattern. When the joke starts to remain repetitive, the best thing to do is to fold the act and try something else, more unexpected that an audience would have not seen coming.
Seth MacFarlane is one comic whose currently is the state of finding a new voice while working with an old one. A Million Ways to Die in The West didn’t respond well with audiences, tanking at the box office while on television, fans of Family Guy and American Dad have noted that the neither show was as funny as it used to be. I too have found that Family Guy has become tired and repetitive in stories. Since he did well with Ted back in 2012, it only made sense to have another go around with the foul-mouthed teddy bear in Ted 2.
The movie opens with the wedding of Ted (played by Seth MacFarlane) and his girlfriend from the first movie Tami-Lynn. Things are looking good for this teddy bear, but his best friend John Bennett (played by Mark Wahlberg) is down in the dumps after being divorced from Lori six months ago. Ted tries to get John to meet up with more woman, but the guy is too depressed to date again.
Months go by and the relationship between Ted and Tami-Lynn has become sour, up to the point where they end up arguing in their apartment. Ted gets the idea that having a baby would be a good way to save the marriage. After two sperm donations are botched, they find out that Tami cannot conceive children. They resort to adopting, but they are denied as the United States government does not recognized Ted as human. This ends up canceling out the marriage and causes Ted to loose many of his civil rights. To prove he is human, he and John decide to take the case to court where a young lawyer Samantha L. Jackson (played by Amanda Seyfried) represents them.
The first thing that Ted 2 does right is that it doesn’t retread the same story from before. They couldn’t have anyway as the first movie had a very sitcomish feel, but was fine the way it was. What is retreaded are the fearless jokes from MacFarlane that are more hit and miss this time. I do recall laughing at the first half hour more then the rest of the movie. Because MacFarlane wants to get in as many laughs as possible, he relies way too heavily on jokes that are cutaway gags or simply references to movies from the eighties.
What I will say is that the actors delivering the comedy are sure trying their hardest. Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane still have great chemistry, as if they’ve been friends for a long time. Amanda Seyfried does well as the young lawyer and new love interest for John. But this is where my biggest problem lies. The story of Ted revolved around John and Lori getting together and working around Ted. The fact that Ted 2 decided to leave the first love interest out is kind of disheartening.
I’ll give this three Ted bears out of five. I see this sequel as a mixed bag, but those going in will either like or hate MacFarlane’s sense of humor. I’d say watch Ted and Family Guy before committing to seeing this sequel. Just don’t expect to laugh as hard. But I did laugh.