Ted 2 Is As Raunchy And Funny As The Original

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Ted 2 opens 6/26/15.

I have a hard time reviewing movies like TED 2, the new comedy from writer/producer/director/star Seth MacFarlane. Most reviews delve into the plot a little, give a rundown of the principle cast and maybe touch on a couple of points such as the score or special effects that really interested or disgusted the reviewer. Some might talk about the nuanced performance of a scene-stealing supporting actress or offer up a particularly lousy turn as a nominee for next year’s Razzie Awards. If that’s what you expect, the next paragraph is just for you.

The sequel to 2012’s TED, a silly comedy about a toy teddy bear magically brought to life, TED 2 brings back Seth MacFarlane as more-or-less Peter Griffin as Ted the Bear, Mark Wahlberg as his best bud John Bennett and the ravishing Jessica Barth as Ted’s main squeeze Tami-Lynn. Giovanni Ribisi also returns as Donny, the oddball who wants Ted for himself. The story revolves around Ted’s wedding to Tami Lynn, which gets turned on its ear was questions are raised concerning Ted’s legal status: is he a person or, as a synthetic object of cotton and fabric and a few plastic bits, is he property? John Slattery, Morgan Freeman and Amanda Seyfried play various legal eagles who litigate for and against America’s favorite living plush toy. A number of surprise guest stars are also on hand, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it—that’s what Wikipedia and IMDB are for.

Whew! OK, now that that’s over with, let me get right down to it: TED 2 is funny—extremely funny. If you enjoy Seth MacFarlane’s brand of absurd comedy, you might not want to buy the 6 gallon bladder buster at the concession stand (just $80 if you add a bushel of buttery popcorn) lest you wet your pants, repeatedly. There were several scenes where I couldn’t even make out the dialogue because of the roars of raucous laughter from my fellow moviegoers. However, if you can’t stand Seth MacFarlane—and you’re perfectly entitled to your own opinion, wrong as it may well be—then you’re gonna hate this picture. Just hate it. The raunchiness, the scatological humor, the sophomoric quips, the geekiness of the New York Comicon where the climactic action takes place, the pot smoking (there is quite a bit of that), the absurdity of it all, you are going to wish you went to see Pixar’s INSIDE OUT instead. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good movie too, more appropriate for all ages.

Personally, I think Seth MacFarlane is one of the funniest people in entertainment. I don’t generally like “stupid” comedies. Lowbrow humor is excruciating for me to watch. I can’t really tell you why I find FAMILY GUY and the TED franchise (is it a franchise, or does that require a third movie?) funny and DUMB and DUMBER or pretty much anything with Jack Black in it incredibly irritating. Maybe I just buy into the conceit because on some level I relate to MacFarlane’s characters more. Maybe I had deeper fantasies about my own toys coming to life than I ever realized (Am I Donny? I hope not—nobody does creepy weirdo quite like Giovanni Ribisi, he can keep him!). Maybe I just like raunchy quips more than I should admit.

Whatever the reason, and whatever the overly serious “mainstream” film critics may say, TED 2 was a riot. It’s not a Frank Capra classic. It’s not a Stephen Spielberg Oscar contender. It’s not even a Mel Brooks treasure for the ages. That’s fine. It’s a Seth MacFarlane romp of absurdity and there’s a place for that too. The world is serious enough as it is. Take ninety minutes out of your life and laugh a little. You’ll be glad you did.

Oh, one last thing—at the screening I went to some people brought their kids. I’m not talking about 40-somethings and their 20-somethings laughing together, I’m talking about parents (honestly, I’m a bad judge of age anyway) and their 6 to 10 year olds (but I can tell a grade school student from a college junior). Look, I’m sure Seth MacFarlane, the studio or the theater won’t turn down the opportunity to take your money, but talk about absurd—its rated R for a reason. Send the kids over to INSIDE OUT instead. The running times are pretty close and you won’t have nearly so many awkward questions on the drive home.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0