reviewed by Tom-Tom
There are certain film characters you meet once and then the magic they possess runs its course leaving no room for successful continuation. Shrek was one such character and so is Ted. I’m sure you are now thinking of countless other likely candidates. The first Ted film was a gambit toeing the recently popular line drawn by Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, and others balancing raunchy humor and characters with a big heart hiding behind (way, way behind in some cases) their profane language and obscene habits. Despite the absurdity of the premise, ie a Teddy Bear come to life, we felt for the characters and believed in their friendship which made the walking talking Teddy Bear aspect not merely shock value. The first film had some memorable and critical cameos which were jaw dropping and hilarious in their placement and timing. Unfortunately, that was long ago.
In Ted 2, after a remarkably beautiful opening wedding scene and a rather extended but very well composed, choreographed, and attired dance number by men in tuxes and top hats and long legged women in Broadway Showgirl attire complete with little Ted dancing along. This is Tony Prize level stuff and I couldn’t help but think it was wasted on the target audience: eg folks here to see a stoner/raunchy sex comedy. Seth MacFarlane has an affinity with Big Band that finds its way into his animated hit Family Guy, and here, at least only in the opening moments, we get a glimpse of this love of his. Fortunately (or unfortunately, perhaps) it itself is worth the price of admission.
A character is sorely missed and missing this time around who made the first Ted such a joy to watch and in fact, is responsible for the eponymous character’s continued existence. The connection between Ted and his best friend John (Wahlberg) seems awfully thing and forced. They don’t spend that much time on the couch together. The star of the first film can be said to be John but this time around it is Ted himself, who surprisingly, is much less interesting despite being a Teddy Bear come to life. Much of the moving segments of the first film have been replaced with unnecessary non-sequitur vignettes a la mode of Family Guy. Amanda Seyfried joins the cast as a young lawyer, who rather than challenging the bear-man/child pair’s actions, is merely a pot smoking enabler of their worst habits.
The rest of the film is a messy string of cameos, nods to random films, and a redux paraphrasing of the end of the plot of the first film amid ComicCon New York. Even that fun is reduced due to two characters making it look fun to bully various ComicCon attendees and making obvious remarks concerning Wahlberg’s connection to the most recent Transformers film.
It’s hard to fall in love with Ted for the first time again but if you want to try, I don’t recommend this film as the means to do so.