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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Movie Review- Ted 2

Seth McFarlane and Mark Wahlberg gotta dump some porn quickly in Ted 2


Introduction

With the obvious exceptions of Sean Penn, super-serious gangbangers, and Janet Reno, it's no mystery that everybody likes to laugh. Some more than others to be sure but, we all enjoy a good giggle. Hollywood multi-tasker Seth McFarlane knows this, and he's gonna make some money from it. Thankfully, he puts the 'show' in show business. I'm wondering though, with his less than closeted love for show tunes and large dance numbers, is Seth slowly building up his comedic empire to the point where it gets so big that he can finally become who he's secretly always wanted to be; A genetic hybrid of Mel Brooks and Liza Minnelli? Don't answer that. Time will only tell.
 
 

Ted 2

 
With any sequel to a blockbuster comedy, the expectations are always high. What usually seems to get lost in the studio's catering to those expectations, is the comedic formula that once came naturally, but now feels forced. The odd thing about McFarlane's, Ted 2, is that the sense of humor is once again right on target yet, the film itself is dumbed down and feels forced. What I also find odd, is how can I enjoy a film so much and yet find no real redeeming qualities to it? With the first Ted film, I appreciated the decent balance between hilarious college humor and sentimental moments. This time around, it seems like the sentimental moments were needed more for Ted's character but were thrown by the wayside for another funny joke. I'm referring to the big courtroom scenes in this film where Ted has to prove his actual humanity to the world. With many of McFarlane's works, he's not afraid to make political statements about racism and class discrimination so, why couldn't he have made a better statement this time around instead of just going for the quick laugh? Maybe he's sick of trying too hard to change hearts & minds and just wants to entertain instead? I mean, there is a big (and completely unnecessary) dance number at the film's beginning that makes me wonder if Seth made this movie more for himself than us. The only good part about it was that it made me wish for another Austin Powers groooovy opening number, baby. Just like its opening dance, this film has a mindless plot. However, Ted 2 is so goddamn sidesplittingly hilarious that, I was mostly able to overlook it. Mostly.
 
With such a huge list of well known and not so well known actor cameos involved, I refuse to name all of them so, see the movie or Wiki it if you need to know so damn badly. I will however note the most memorable. First off, Dennis Haysbert (Major League) was my favorite. In just one scene, he delivers a performance that's so deadpan, that I was laughing long afterwards. Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), Patrick Warburton (The Tick) & Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jay Leno, and especially Liam Neeson (A Million Way to Die in the West), all have fun while poking at themselves as well. The total wastes of time for me, were from Giovanni Ribisi's (Boiler Room) returning character and Morgan Freeman (Se7en). Ribisi is funny but, he's used in the same old 'Sideshow Bob' manner that we've already seen and, his entire subplot takes away from what this film needed most; Time for Ted to convince the audience as well as the jury that he's so much more than just a foulmouthed, stoner, teddy bear, that has nothing to contribute to society except for some clever knocks against the Kardashians. Freeman, as cool as he is, is in place only to validate this film in some way. Has this great American actor been relegated to quick appearances in films and television like Stan Lee, Neil Armstrong, and Vanilla Ice, simply to remind the world that they're not dead? Say it ain't so, Mo. One of the downsides to the hilarity of this film, is that a lot of it is like an update on current events and people. It's funny as hell right now but tomorrow? Maybe not so much. That's okay though, there's plenty of sight/running gags to distract you from Ted 2's temporary setbacks.
 
 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Ted 2

 
The Good- You can never go wrong with sarcastic reenactments of classics like The Breakfast Club, Jurassic Park, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Since there was a running gag about a certain dark rooster throughout the film, shouldn't the dong bong have been so appropriately colored as well? They probably saved a bunch in effects costs by just duct-taping a real teddy bear to the steering wheel during the downhill crash scene.
 
The Bad- Mark Wahlberg's (The Departed) character seemed to be suffering from the Homer Simpson curse. With every passing season or film, our hero gets progressively dumber for whatever reason yet to be named.

The Ugly- Mila Kunis (Jupiter Ascending) was great in this as well. Oh wait, she wasn't able to return and be the symbol of emotional stability this time around because she was too busy being Ashton Kutcher's (Two and a Half Men: The Desperation Years) human PEZ dispenser instead. Speaking of sperm donors, the scene at the fertility clinic was pretty ugly too. Respect the cup, boys.
 
 

Final Thoughts on Ted 2

 
As I've said with my previous reviews of McFarlane's films, Ted 2 is not for everyone. If you're not a fan of Family Guy type humor, you won't like this. For the rest of us cretins, this movie is so funny that you have to see it at least once so, see it with a crowd. Stay after the end credits for a major payoff on an important character. Hopefully the next Ted will be a bit more balanced and not leave us with material so short-termed that it fails to last like a Boston teddy bear bong rip.
Rating- 7 out of 10 (I laughed a lot)
 
Running Time-115 Minutes
Comedy/Fantasy

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