Ted 2 Review
Seth MacFarlane and chums are back for more from the swear-bear in Ted 2. Newlywed Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a baby, but their plans are thwarted when our stuffed hero’s personhood is revoked. Ted and best friend John (Mark Wahlberg) team up with junior lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) in order to prove that the former really is human, whilst a shady corporate boss pursues the bear for his own sinister uses.
After the disastrous A Million Ways to Die in the West, it really would be difficult for Ted 2 to be a failure. That being said, there are still some inherent problems that MacFarlane will probably never shake off. For one, his particular brand of comedy only works in short bursts, which wouldn’t be an issue were the film not two hours long. A good third of the jokes fall completely flat, and running time is wasted on the Family Guy creator’s irritating habit of lapsing into extravagant musical numbers. We get it, Seth, you like musicals, now can we see the toy say naughty words, please?
Of course, I’m not for one moment suggesting that there are no chuckles whatsoever: an oft-wavering stream of decent gags inject just enough humour to keep the audience interested (the knock-out arriving in the form of a Jurassic Park-driven set piece), but a lacklustre and overly-sugary second half is punctuated only by a rather daring scenario in an improvised comedy club. The comedy as a whole is thankfully less in-your-face and shouty than a lot of contemporary American comedies, and whilst the slapstick is still serviceably funnier than the constant slew of pop-culture references, it delivers nothing to match the man-versus-bear brawl from the first Ted.
Mark Wahlberg still doesn’t look completely at home in a purely comedic role, but Amanda Seyfried holds herself with a lot more confidence than her stint in A Million Ways, here playing a pop-culture ignorant lawyer named Samantha L. Jackson (boom boom). Ted himself is the centre of attention as always, but his wife Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) is just there as window-dressing and Giovanni Ribisi is dragged up yet again to be the Ted-obsessed weirdo as the mainstay of one too many unnecessary subplots.
All this might seem like small fry for a film billing itself as a comedy, but after the laugh-free ordeals of A Million Ways to Die in the West and Mortdecai, I’ll take anything Ted 2 is ready to dish out…even if it’s occasionally been copy-pasted directly from Family Guy.