FILM REVIEW; TED 2

Ted-2After watching and relishing Seth Mcfarlane’s first Ted film like most of us did it feels silly to suggest the conceit of a teddy bear come to life may have gone too far. The first film was a compelling story about friendship at its core and the idea of an exceptionally foul mouthed cuddly bear was an amusing novelty and maybe a bow should have been wrapped around Ted the character. On the question of if the conceit may have over stepped into farfetched territory, Ted opens with our titular character wedding his sweet heart Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth) and then proceeds to see him involved in a landmark civil suit and then there’s the small matter of a ridiculous Hasbro conspiracy – a tad of stretch if you ask me.

Marky Mark’s John is now divorced, still an underachiever and firmly in the background as Ted takes centre stage. His marriage isn’t doing too well and we fathom this because Ted goes out of his way to don a wife beater in a scene aping every onscreen abusive Italian American husband ever. Therapy hasn’t worked for their marriage so naturally they turn to the hope of a child to save their marriage because that has been known to work wonders. Of course Ted is a stuffed toy with no genitalia and we soon learn Tami-Lynn’s uterus is closer to a bat cave than the natural God given incubator so the only other option for the two is adoption. Their attempts at an adoption open a Pandora’s Box that sees the state Massachusetts not only deny the adoption but strip Ted of all his rights and personhood because he is essentially property. Enter a more ridiculous conceit than a stuffed teddy bear come to life – a stuffed teddy bear’s fight to regain personhood.

The courtroom serves as the staging ground for his battle against being tagged property and I myself tagged this plot thread “too soon” seeing as actual people are still fighting for rights and maybe this film gives us a huge laugh in 30 years when ebony and ivory are living together in harmony but for now, this narrative proved a misstep as Ted and his defense team/weed loving Amanda Seyfried maneuver round this trial which is largely played for laughs and a spoof of general PC trends by our director with no subtlety whatsoever and the same could be said of the rest of the film. The film has a dose of racial jokes that dimply had me indifferent because THAT whipping scene with Toby/Kunta has been pop culture mainstay for decades and source of some great humor over the years but a quick skim of the news will reveal why a lot of this film’s PC and racial humor are in poor taste.

Aside from race jokes a number of lowest common denominator weed, gay and porn jokes with some celeb cameos which amuse in snippets find their way into the script and for the most part all this film’s attempts at humour did was remind me why I stopped enjoying The Family Guy although I must say the montage of media reaction to Ted’s trial drew solid laughs from me. Mcfarlane’s persistence with ineffective infantile humour and distasteful skittishness probably sinks this film for and a little restraint could have made this film better notwithstanding the timing issues but probably my ultimate seal of censure was stamped on this film – I got up to buy snacks I don’t even enjoy just to dispel whatever Mcfarlane was selling even if for a minute.

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