Release Date: June 26, 2015
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn, Bill Smitrovich, John Slattery, Cocoa Brown, John Carroll Lynch, Ron Canada, Liam Neeson, Dennis Haysbert, Patrick Stewart, Tom Brady, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 115 minutes
Production Company: Universal Pictures, Bluegrass Films, Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital
It really takes some imagination to tell a story about a talking teddy bear that breathes life. It takes even more brain power to make him a bear you actually care about. After a homerun with the prequel, and a disaster bomb with ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’, director Seth McFarlane rolled the dice once more. What he did with Ted 2 is appreciated, but doesn’t contain the same shock value the first attempt had. Just think about what was presented. Popular Family Guy creator, gets free reign with a wise cracking, booze drinking, teddy bear, with no responsibility, making dick jokes, that smokes pot all day whose roommates with Mark Wahlberg. With expectations being so high it still delivered and was comedic gold. Though there’s not much left to explore a second time around. Do we really care about the bear that much? Even in the prologue of the first film the narrator stated, “No matter how big a splash someone makes, eventually people just don’t give a shit.” That’s an actual quote from the first Ted movie, and it seems apparent this time around.
I say that because at some points in the sequel I didn’t care about what happened to Ted. Sure there are moments one may sympathize with him, but if he didn’t get what he desired I wouldn’t have left the theater disappointed. He’s a sentient being with feelings, and all he wants is to be treated fairly, with the same civil rights as everyone else. It’s an interesting adventure the characters could go on, but the story is all over the place and feels warped. Instead of a movie, this feels like three different episodes of randomness pieced together. The stories are Ted wanting a baby, fighting for civil rights, and getting high. Even while the latter appears to have the most enjoyment (and there are some hilarious moments) it distracts from the other two story points, leaving you in wonder. It’s fine to take a tour off the main topic, but when it’s too far gone, I the audience member am contemplating why I’m watching.
On a different note I give credit to the comedy of the film which is the main seller. McFarlane did a great job bringing back memories of the first film, and tying it with the second. While I didn’t care about the characters too much (especially Wahlberg’s character) I still laughed out loud at times to the point I was nearly crying. McFarlane knows how to crack a smile with little effort from the simplest lines of dialogue. It’s the characters that bring them to life due to their own honesty with themselves. Going through their lives they have no shame, which in a weird way can be respected. It makes them that much funnier in the long run. The cameos are always a fun gag too, due their randomness and silly stupidity. Other than one particular scene during a flash back Family Guy style, there was a joke or two that was in very bad taste. I’m sure it will offend, but that’s now expected when you have McFarlane writing the script. It was soon forgotten and the hilarious banter continued.
I even give the film praise on a technical level. Not once did I ever imagine the bear Ted not being real. He did look photo realistic and every character interacting with the little guy seemed true and genuine. Towards the beginning of the film there’s a domestic situation in an apartment, and I was impressed with the practical effects that tied with the digital. It just goes to show how far we’ve come along with technology which makes me even more excited for possible sequels.
While this was one of the main plot points of the story, there really is a soul living inside Ted. Ted 2 unfortunately wasn’t as good as the first, but is still a great time with some speed bumps throughout. It would’ve been better the second time around, but sometimes the whole cast doesn’t want to come back for round two. Mila Kunis, the love interest in the first film was completely absent, and with the way the first film ended made Wahlberg’s character a notable distraction. He was lost flickering in the wind with desperation which diluted the experience. Other supporting characters were present, but didn’t hold the necessary weight for a smooth transition. I still look forward to purchasing a copy when released on home video, because there are plenty of jokes to come back to. Though with the dip in quality I’m unsure if everyone else will feel the same.