Frances Winston wasn’t too impressed with the latest TED offereng – TED 2
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane – Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, John Slattery, Jessica Barth, Morgan Freeman
The living breathing teddy bear is back, although he learns that he may not be as living and breathing as he thinks! Following on from the huge success of the first movie, this instalment sees Ted (MacFarlane) having to fight to prove that he is, in fact, a person. Despite holding down a job and getting married to long term love, Tami-Lynn, it seems that the government considers him property! This only comes to light when he and Tami-Lynn attempt to have a child, and suddenly his world comes crashing down.
Fired from his job and with his marriage annulled, best friend John (Wahlberg) suggests that he goes to court to overturn the ruling, and get his proper status. However, while rookie lawyer Samantha (Seyfried) may share the pairs love of getting stoned, her inexperience costs them the case, much to the delight of Hasbro, who hope to get Ted back to find out what makes him tick in order to recreate it. With their only hope being hotshot lawyer, Patrick Meighan (Freeman) who is reluctant to take the case as he doesn’t feel that Ted has made a significant contribution to society, tensions run high as the long-term friends face a bleak future.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be familiar with at least the concept of Ted – Mark Wahlberg’s character, John Bennet, wished his teddy bear would come to life as a child and it did, and the two have been bosom buddies since. Sharing a love of weed and partying, the pair were Thunder Buddies – basically Beavis and Butthead for a new generation. This movie continues in that vein. The jokes are puerile, and at times watching this is almost like being the only sober person at a party. While there are some funny moments, there is a lot of repetition, and more often than not they go for the lowest common denominator. The underlying civil rights story could have been a great opportunity to draw attention to serious issues, but it never quite hits the mark.
Many of the scenarios feel shoehorned in, as if MacFarlane wanted to include every single idea he had, rather than self-editing and including only what might be relevant to the plot. The story itself is a bit meandering. It takes ages to get to the main point, and many of the jokes have worn thin by the time it does. There are a couple of good celebrity cameos (including one from Liam Neeson) but again, they feel as if they have been squeezed in for the sake of it.
MacFarlane is incredibly witty, wry, and cynical when it comes to his animated shows, but here he loses a lot of what makes them great. His direction is sloppy, and he never manages to find the balance between serious and funny. Most of the time it feels like he is going through the motions. This is watchable, but only just. A poor follow up to the original movie, even hardcore MacFarlane fans will have issues with this.
In Cinemas Now!