Like many immature people across the world, I am a massive fan of Seth MacFarlane’s work on the small screen (‘Family Guy’, ‘American Dad’), but his big screen projects have been rather hit and miss. ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ was universally panned, and ‘Ted’ divided opinions greatly. Personally, I quite enjoyed ‘Ted’. Granted, it was nwhere near as good as I foolishly hoped, but it was still entertaining and very funny in places. Even the biggest MacFarlane optimist though, must have been worried about a second ‘Ted’ movie.
Where could they take such a madcap story? Luckily, films like ‘Ted’ don’t rely too heavily on the finer details of their plots. This time round, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is still feeling the effects of his divorce from Lori (played by Mila Kunis in the first ‘Ted’ movie), whilst his fuzzy friend Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is tying the knot to his rough-around-the-edges lover Tami-Lyn (Jessica Barth). When their marriage hits the rocks, they decide that a baby will solve their problems. But with no male appendage, reproduction is out of the question, and the state of Massecheutus rules out adoption due to their deeming Ted to be property and not a person. With the help of law grad Sam (Amanda Seyfried), the fight is on to prove that Ted is just as human as the rest of us and deliver the happy ending.
Wahlberg might be a fantastic action movie performer, but in recent years his comedic talents have really come to the surface with ‘The Other Guys’ and now the ‘Ted’ series. His character is immature, reckless and a real hedonist, and I get the feeling that convincingly pulling off this role takes very little effort from Mr Wahlberg. Seth MacFarlane’s performance isn’t really up for debate – it’s always hard to judge someone based on a voice role – but he channels all the childish fun of Peter Griffin into that little teddy bear. Amanda Seyfried joins the cast, which initially surprised me; I didn’t have her pegged as the crude and easy-going type. But she’s a real highlight here, and her characters ignorance to popular culture got me laughing every time. I’m now very much a Seyfried fan.
Just like ‘Family Guy’, with ‘Ted 2’, Seth MacFarlane wasn’t afraid to reuse and repeat jokes again and again. Toilet humour, mocking minorities and satirising popular culture have always been favourite pastimes for MacFarlane and his team, but there is something innocent and inoffensive about it all. Some of the ludicrous language which comes out of Ted’s mouth is more a reflection on American society rather than the opinions of the writers, and it is for this reason that they get away with it. And it is the reason we all laugh along. It’s why ‘Family Guy’ is so relentlessly popular after all these years; because Seth MacFarlane takes risks, adapts with society and always ensures his work is current and delightfully explicit.
It may be stupid and crass. It may be considered childish to laugh at some of the offensive content. But I laughed. A lot. I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I laughed at ‘Ted 2’ actually. It’s not a comedy classic by any means, but it is very entertaining. And I would happily watch it again.
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth