Ted 2 (2015)

ted2_2015_poster
Ted 2 (2015)
  • Time: 115 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Seth MacFarlane
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Jessica Barth

Storyline:

Seth MacFarlane returns as writer, director and voice star of Ted 2, Universal and Media Rights Capital’s follow-up to the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time. Joined once again by star Mark Wahlberg and fellow Ted writers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild, MacFarlane produces the live action/CG-animated comedy alongside Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, as well as John Jacobs and Jason Clark. Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law.

6 reviews

  • A plethora of unwanted sperm donations falling on the head of star Mark Wahlberg, a x-ray showing a woman’s uterus polluted by hundreds of marijuana particles, and a bong constructed into something follicle. Yeah that’s the Seth Macfarlane way and this is just a taste of his sloppy seconds to 2012’s mega-hit, Ted.

    Anyway, you know that 2 Live Crew album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be. Well Ted 2 (the film I’m writing about) isn’t as nasty as I thought it would be nor is it as focused as it should be. This is a sequel and come on, you knew it wasn’t gonna be as good as the original (I’m not lying when I say that almost every funny line or gag featured, is only in the trailer). “2” is pasted together, it’s lax, it tries hard for guffaws (where as the first one didn’t really need to try), and even though it expands on the hook and story arc of its predecessor (which has a premise hinged on an asinine, foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear coming to life because of a young boy’s childhood wish), the novelty has now worn off faster than a rusty nail in a vat of Coca-Cola. The thunder buddies may be back but their thunder has sort of been stolen.

    With pop culture references ranging from Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (Ted drives a car while chain smoking and doing the “Mess Around”) to The Breakfast Club (dancing in the library) to Flash Gordon (Sam Jones still can’t stop doing blow), Ted 2 will make you chuckle in spurts only to serve as a reminder of why everything was fresher the first time around. Director Seth Macfarlane is like comedy’s version of a food stylist. This time, he throws everything into his vile, crude potluck and the ingredients don’t mesh as well. But hey, at least what’s on screen is better than his earlier dud, A Million Way to Die in the West (uh, that’s not a compliment).

    Containing a Mark Wahlberg performance that seems to have been phoned in this time around, featuring a dance sequence (during the opening credits) where Ted’s Fuzzy Wuzzy gets his groove on (just think Kate Capshaw in Temple of Doom), and showing both of these main characters getting high to the TV miniseries, Roots (wow that’s original), Ted 2’s story begins about three years from when the first installment left off. As percolated previously, Ted (brought to the screen by the voice stylings of Macfarlane) survived dying at Fenway Park and now he’s about to get married to his potty-mouthed sweetheart, Tami Lynn McCafferty (played by Jessica Barth). Meanwhile, his bromantic partner in crime being John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), has just gotten a divorce from Lori Collins (played by Mila Kunis from the first Ted). As the proceedings carry along, Ted wants to have a kid with Tami Lynn to strengthen their union. The only snafu is that he can’t give her one. The solution: Adopt or have the little tyke through artificial insemination. The problem: This all culminates in the Government finding out and determining that Ted is not a really person but just a piece of property. He loses his job at the supermarket, his credit goes down the drain, and his marriage becomes annulled (bummer). The new solution: Ted and Johnny decide to take this catastrophe to trial and hire a lawyer/obligatory love interest in Samantha Leslie Jackson (as in Sam L. Jackson, get it).

    Tidbits to look out for in “2”: Morgan Freeman (in a brief role as a civil rights attorney) actually says, “I’ll go f**k myself”, Samantha (played by Amanda Seyfried) jokingly throws a piece of cereal in a blind guy’s butt crack (only in America), and Giovanni Ribisi (as creepy Donny from the first Ted) once again does his signature dance from Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”. Every time I hear that song I think I might have to turn it off. It’s sadly on par with Goodbye Horses from The Silence of the Lambs.

    When it’s all said and done, the producers of Ted were ingenious three years ago. They came up with the idea of a cuddly, teddy bear movie and completely turned it on its head. You have this furry toy talking like a Bostonian, making a life with his best bud (Bennett), and eventually transforming into something that’s almost criminal in nature. I realized that if this thing became a family film instead, I’m not sure anyone would have bothered to buy a ticket. Frat boy humor in the end, is what we want (I know I’m a fan of it). But here’s the thing: Ted 2 gets more trivial as it goes along. Within the final half hour, its hook (as mentioned earlier) doesn’t relegate to a movie. Instead, every spoken word of dialogue becomes offensive for the sake of being offensive, odious for the sake of being odious, and foul for the sake of being foul. Constant f-bombs and slapstick pummeling a movie don’t make. Oh and did I mention that “2” actually holds back a bit as well. I guess cinematic follow-ups don’t always mean bigger and better.

    To sum up my review, I’ll say this: Last month, I saw 2015’s Entourage and in it Mark Wahlberg was asked about how many Ted sequels he was going to do. His response was, “I’ll do twenty if I can”. Hey Mark, please don’t. One is enough.

    Of note: (Spoiler alert) If you’ve seen the ending of the first Ted, the one in “2” is role reversed yet almost identical. You’ll spot the outcome from a mile away. Also, there are three noticeable cameos I haven’t spoken of yet. One of them is amusing. It involves Jay Leno (playing himself) looking for sex in a men’s bar bathroom. Another cameo involves Tom Brady (I’m not even gonna go there). Finally, we have a guest appearance via my hero, Liam Neeson. It’s bad and it will have you scratching your head while shaking it at the same time. Everybody’s favorite badass buys breakfast cereal at the supermarket where Ted works at. “Are Trix for kids?” Honestly Liam, who gives a crap.

    Rating: 2 out of 4 stars

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  • (Rating: ☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is not recommended.

    In brief: Ted has its share of laughs, but only if you like off-color and offensive humor.

    GRADE: C+

    Ted, that cute but crude potty-mouthed teddy bear is back and so is writer /director Seth MacFarlane, offering more heaping helpings of sophomoric jokes and political incorrect humor. Again Mr. MacFarlane seems more interested in offending the masses and mocking any minority groups with an onslaught of racial and homophobic references than setting up a coherent story with genuine laughs, but that is is trademark formula which seems to work for him (excluding his last film, A Million Ways to Die in the West which died a million ways with his fan base). I’d say he walks a fine line, but that’s quite a broad stroke he is traveling in Ted 2.

    It is now three years since our last meeting. Ted has married a dim-witted bimbo and his human buddy has not had much luck in the dating game. But both have enough time to drink beer and smoke pot to occupy their days, much as before. Only now, a problem arises with Ted’s marriage being legal. So it’s off to court we go as they engage a young pretty attorney who takes their case.

    The film starts off very promising with its opening credits, a wonderful send-up to the old Busby Berkeley musicals, but the rest of the film never hits this stride. After that, it’s non-stop sex and drug jokes that purport the smutty and bawdy locker-room mentality MacFarlane has build his career on. This sequel is more of the same as before, with no risk, only risqué. Subtlety is not in his reach, nor is stinging satire. He hides behind shock humor rather than allow his jokes to flow with the narrative.

    More often than not, this film has a nice directorial touch and some good comic timing. But more not than often do his skills as a screenwriter hit their intended marks. Much of the humor is overdone and lacks any finesse, as he aims to ridicule easy targets: Comic Con losers, Improv performers, bong and penis jokes are plentiful. Cameos by Tom Brady Sam J. Jones, and Liam Neeson fall flat. One can see that MacFarlane is going for deeper themes this time around with civil rights, marriage equality, and discrimination as the underlying issue. But he is still unable to delve into any measurable depth as he continuously sacrifices his meandering plot for a nasty zinger or gross-out gags.

    The CGI of Ted and the voiceover work by MacFarlane again are the film’s saving grace. The duality of cute vs. vulgar works for the most part. As for its cast, most perform adequately, some stronger than others, with many loyal friends and performers again availing their services to his films. Mark Wahlberg handles most of the duties and he manages to use his personable assets reasonably well to come away unblemished, as does Jessica Barth as Ted’s trashy wife. Amanda Siegfried gives one of her better performances and is developing some comic chops. Morgan Freeman, John Slattery, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn, and Giovanni Ribisi are wasted.

    For me, some of the gags worked, others did not. It was hit-and-miss all the way. Depending on one’s own comfort level of off-color material, Ted 2 could be highly distasteful or very funny. MacFarlane follows the same lewd formula in this sequel. It’s his comfort zone to make others feel uncomfortable. His target audience knows his brand of politically incorrect humor and…humor, as we all know, is in the gut of the beholder.

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  • The Thunder Buddies are back in this agreeable, if ultimately disappointing, sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s surprise smash Ted. A follow-up was always going to be a tricky proposition as what are you left with when the novelty of a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear has already worn off? Turns what remains is more of the same, though MacFarlane and co-screenwriters Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild incorporate some not always successful serious plot turns.

    Set a few years after the original, the sequel opens with Ted’s wedding to his trashy co-worker Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Best friend John (Mark Wahlberg) naturally serves as best man, though he’s still down in the dumps from the dissolution of his own marriage to Lori (Mila Kunis, absent from the proceedings due to her real-life pregnancy). Ted’s own marriage hits the rocks a year later when whispered sweet nothings have become shouting matches over Tami-Lynn’s spending sprees at Filene’s Basement.

    Determined to save his marriage, Ted decides the best solution is to have a baby. There is one major obstacle: Ted is not exactly equipped to father a child. Exploring the alternatives fuel the first third of the film, inarguably Ted 2’s best and most relaxed section. MacFarlane is in his comfort zone as he devises one scheme after another, from the best friends attempting to steal the sperm of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (gamely lending himself to a timely joke about his balls) to a disastrous accident at a sperm bank that finds John soaked in the white liquid. Not to fear, Ted says, “You’re covered with rejected black guy sperm. You look like a Kardashian.”

    After Tami-Lynn learns she’s infertile, the couple decide to adopt but the state of Massachusetts does not legally view Ted as a human being, only mere property. The ramifications of this include Ted being stripped of all his civil rights, and his marriage to Tami-Lynn deemed invalid. The buddies seek the help of young lawyer Sam L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), who impresses them with her bong smoking and her ignorance of pop culture. Together, they appeal to the courts to have Ted declared as a person and not as a property.

    The barrage of jokes and tangential cutaways that work so well within a half hour format don’t always translate to the big screen, which can be a far less forgiving medium. MacFarlane still has issues adjusting his pacing and timing for the big screen. It wasn’t quite as obvious in Ted, where the jokes came fast and furious. Ted 2, which contends with deeper issues that parallel Ted’s plight with those of disenfranchised minorities, shows the strain as the jokes slow to a trickle. This exposes one of MacFarlane’s weaknesses, namely his lack of judiciousness when it comes to joke and side plot selection. Gags that should have ended up in the bin are given significant focus. The New York Comic Con set piece is a prime example as is the subplot involving the further machinations of the harebrained stalker Donny (Giovanni Ribisi). Both only serve to drag down the latter half of the film.

    Even the central relationship between Ted and John feels shortchanged, though the chemistry between the two is resilient enough to withstand some of the more sub-par comic contrivances. Seyfried and Morgan Freeman (as a civil rights attorney) are nice additions. The visual effects are seamless. MacFarlane’s hallmark blend of the raucous, profane, and puerile is intact, though it has been mysteriously dialed down. As the opening credits to Family Guy and many of its episodes attest, MacFarlane loves a good old-fashioned musical number and one of Ted 2’s unabashed highlights is the glorious Busby Berkeley-style dance number featuring Ted and a chorus line of dancers atop a giant wedding cake. The scene has a no-holds-barred, go-for-broke, devil-may-care attitude that the rest of the film fails to possess.

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  • Life has changed drastically for thunder buddies John (Mark Wahlberg), now a bachelor is still reeling from his divorce to Lori (Mila Kunis), while best pal Ted (Seth MacFarlane) is now married to girlfriend Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth), the woman of his dreams. Problems arise when the couple decide to adopt a child, but the law declares Ted to be property and not a person. Angry and dejected, the foulmouthed teddy bear must now seek legal help from a young lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) and a legendary, civil-rights attorney (Morgan Freeman) to get the justice he deserves.

    While it’s fair to say Ted 2 does not come close to the original, it is still an enjoyable and mostly funny sequel to the 2012 comedy hit. And yes, it is a huge improvement over Seth McFarlane’s previous film, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Those who’ve seen Ted or anything Seth McFarlane has been involved in will know that the guy has a perverse sense of humor that does not agree with everyone

    Read Full Review here: https://theblazingreel.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/movie-review-ted-2-2015/

  • The obvious theme of Ted 2 is the expansion of civil rights in America. The film opens and closes with come-to-life teddy bear Ted marrying full-size sexpot Tami-Lyn. Between those ceremonies Ted is stripped of his legal status as a human. He is defined as property, therefore disqualified for a job, credit cards, bank accounts and marriage. He can even be abducted and cut open without legal recourse. The plot aligns Ted’s fight for recognition with America’s stuttering battles over civil rights, from reluctantly accepting the humanity of blacks and women to accepting gay marriages.
    The film’s structural theme is the celebration of pop culture. As Ted wins acknowledgment of personhood, the film exercises the recognition of popular culture as a valid form of artistic expression, an art as capable of serious statement (e.g., civil rights, the triumph of personhood over objectification) as is traditional high art. In art as in life the film is egalitarian.
    The spectacular pre-title Busby Berkeley musical number and the climactic chase through a comic convention clearly establish pop culture as the film’s arena of interest. Ted’s neophyte lawyer Samantha is characterized as woefully ignorant of pop culture, whereas Ted and friend John at least have the verbiage to play at being lawyers. Ted and villain Donny are drawn out of hiding by their reflex responses to pop songs. Cameo appearances by Liam Neeson, Tom Brady and the Saturday Night Live crew confirm the focus on pop culture. And after all, pop culture is as American as the — ever unending — campaign for civil rights.
    Ted’s relationship with John replays the bromance genre in American film. The two love each other but are careful to exclude any homosexual implications. Both have women in their lives, John the spectre of his ex-wife and Ted his Tami-Lyn. They’re repelled by Samantha’s phallic glass hash-pipe — a schlong bong? — but Ted weakens. He adopts Rocky opponents as his surname and his adopted child’s name. John’s fake death is guy-play, an insensitivity to emotion, that Samantha properly finds horrid.
    But despite that macho pretence— and Ted’s and John’s swaggering sexual profanity — there’s a curious innocence in Ted’s marriage. He and Tami-Lyn love each other despite his not having a penis. That only becomes an issue when they try to save their breaking marriage by having a child. Deploying John’s semen, they are thwarted by Tami-Lyn’s sterility.
    Love without sex — that innocence evocative of Andy Hardy and the decades of romantic abstinence — puts this raunchy vulgar romp into the tradition of antique Hollywood. Significantly Ted is pantless through most of the film because — like Donald Duck and his Disney-mates — he’s asexual. When Ted starts his legal fight for personhood he wears a green tie. That’s the bud of his human clothing. At his triumphant trial, when he’s declared human, he’s wearing a full suit. He has adopted the ritual wardrobe of the human, however in his case unnecessary.
    Their pro-bono lawyer Samantha, in her first case, comes on as too hip for the law. At their first meeting she’s swearing and smoking her water-pipe — an augur of her fit with these irregular clients. Though she loses the trial, she is validated by what she is, a caring, feeling person. The good woman is a good lawyer even though she lost, as the unbeaten lawyer opponent is ridiculed for being too slick to care. Similarly, the civil rights champion (Morgan Freeman) who initially refuses Ted’s case because Ted hasn’t done anything for anyone, changes his mind when he sees the love between Ted and John. That’s the crux of the civil rights controversy in America: people deserve full rights not because of what they have done or how they are classified but because they are human beings.
    This film should be required viewing for Judges Scalia and Thomas. Not that it would help them. They’re impervious to even popular culture.

  • After seeing the first Ted film I was hugely excited for this film while also being a bit curious because sequels of comedies are never usually as good and this one follows that tradition. The premise of this film sees Ted and John attempting to get Ted’s civil rights so he and Tammy Lynn can have a baby. Now Seth McFarlane plays the voice of Ted and just like the first film he is great in this film as the voice of this foul mouthed teddy bear. Some of the things he says is hilarious and he even makes you care about this bear because he is so lovable. Mark wahlberg returns as John and once again he and Ted’s chemistry is off the charts and is probably the best part of the film. Also wahlberg shows off his comedic chops in this film and it really does work. Amanda seyfried joins the cast in this film and she was also really good in this film and made me laugh. She also fits in really well in this film with John and Ted. However, I didn’t feel the character of Tammy Lynn was that good and I just didn’t feel like her character was funny in this film which didn’t help. Also for some weird reason Giovanni ribisi is back in his role from the first film and it felt completely forced and completely unnecessary. Now what I liked about the first film is that even though it was a comedy it had a heart felt story to it that makes you care about the characters. This film is all over the place with its narrative structure and I felt like the story was really forgotten about and nobody cared about it. It could have been interesting but it didn’t have the substance that it should have done. There was allot of funny dialogue in the film that will really make you laugh but there is also some dialogue that falls flat and you will just be sat there bored waiting for the next good joke that comes around. There is some really funny scenarios in this film with some good cameos but once again it just feels like it is a bunch of comedy skits and nothing to go with the cameos. Overall this is an average comedy that you won’t really care to see again.

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