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Peacemaker Reviews - "Ted 2"

The Movie Hole

Peacemaker Reviews - "Ted 2"

JJ Mortimer

Ted 2 is in a strange position for me, where I felt that some tried-and-true jokes from the original (or derivatives of such original jokes) would have been more welcome than some of the more over-the-top situations this film presents us with.  While the film is pretty damn funny in parts, it doesn't match the relative originality and dirty whimsy of the original, and plays very much on the goodwill created by its predecessor. 

Seth McFarlane's Ted 2 is more in line with a live-action episode of Family Guy than it is with the original Ted.  The major downside to that statement, especially if you are a fan of that show, is that many of the jokes that make the film feel like Family Guy don't pay off as well as they would in a fake cartoon world.  Instead, some of the opportunities at humor fall flat or don't happen at all.  Little things that made the original so quotable and memorable are mostly missing, like a scene with the supermarket manager; instead of getting a joke like the ones that would harken back to the original (where he promotes Ted despite being blatantly insulted), we get a simple line or two that serve only as a progression of the film's major conflict.

The film's story starts six months after the first film ended, and Ted and his blonde bimbo of a girlfriend are getting married.  Mila Kunis, who was Mark Wahlberg's girlfriend in the first film, is gone.  Because she was pregnant in real life and couldn't film the sequel, the writers simply imply that the two of them didn't work out in order to overcome the fact that their lead actress couldn't take part.  Seriously, they take the entire backbone of Wahlberg's character John from the first film and write it off like a simple tax deduction.   Cut ahead another year and Ted's married life is shit, and on top of that he finds out that the government doesn't recognize his marriage because he isn't technically a human.  Essentially, Ted 2 is hitting on themes of "what is human" that relates back to my review of the superb Ex Machina, as well as specific thematic elements in the show Star Trek: The Next Generation

John (Wahlberg) is also in the shits.  He is a raving depressive and can't find it in himself to find another woman to bang.  Of course, they overcome this obstacle by throwing in a young lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) that, of course, will eventually give John a boner again.

Ted 2 partly becomes a road trip film, with Ted, John, and their blonde lawyer (all major potheads) searching for help in a case to give Ted a "real" status as a person and not as property.  The film has quite a few site gags, mostly involving weed and dick-shaped bongs, but the majority of the film's real humor comes from the last act of the film, which takes place at a Comic Con in New York City.  The real surprise for me was to see who the new "boyfriend" was for the indifferently-gay co-worker of John, played by Patrick Warburton, a joke that plays out perfectly by the time the film arrives in the mecca of nerds and geeks.

While I mostly loved the first Ted and find so much of its script quotable and sharp, Ted 2 feels a little bit like a half-baked (pun intended) attempt to create more, but with surprisingly little reference to what made the original so good.  Going in to this film, you could already tell the sequel would be nowhere near as good, because A) the first film hindered on the thematic schtick that a bear magically talks and does things like a normal lazy guy, while B) the sequel doesn't have any of that charm based solely on the principle of the fantasy element of the first film's concept.  While Ted 2 does have moments of comedic glory (mainly involving running jokes, including one involving Google's gutter-minded search engine), the film comes off feeling about half as effective as the first film.

Google Ted 2 and the response may come back as "did you mean a mid-season episode of Family Guy"?

Stay until the end of the credits, because one of the number of cameos in the film pays off.