TED 2 Review — Just Bearable

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ted 2 Review posterThe original Ted, about a teddy bear coming to life and adopting the more raucous personality traits of his owner, was outrageous and uproariously funny. Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg teamed up to produce some unforgettable comedic scenes, including a brawl in which Ted actually kicked some bad boy booty. It’s hard to top a scene like that, and I was hoping for something equally hilarious. Sad to say they didn’t deliver in Ted 2, but the sequel does have its moments.

When we begin, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) is happily married to Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth), and John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) is unhappily divorced. Their penchant for pot smoking and slacking gets in the way of their relationships. So Ted attempts to fix things by having a baby with Tami Lynn, and starts looking for a sperm donor to help him out. So far so good–the movie has great gags up to this point, especially one involving Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In the process, however, Ted learns that he is legally classified as “property” rather than a person, and this is where the humor starts to peter out. There are some odd, long and serious courtroom speeches relating Ted’s situation to slavery that seem out of place, even if they are delivered by attorneys played by the respected Morgan Freeman and the lovely Amanda Seyfried. The plot rambles from there, but to its credit, it’s punctuated by some pitch perfect humor–just not enough. It would have been a grand idea to tighten up the film by about 20 minutes.

I have great respect for Seth MacFarlane’s talent. His ambition in writing, directing, starring in and producing a film is to be admired, and his animated TV series are, on the whole, sheer comedic genius. But sequels, on the whole are hardly ever as satisfying as the original. As we saw with A Million Ways to Die in the West, MacFarlane is not consistently comfortable holding the reigns of a full length feature film. A Million… also had some great jokes, but not enough to maintain a direction for a satisfying length of time.

Rated R

1 Hour 55 Minutes

Get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

TED 2 Review — Just Bearable

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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