Ted 2 (15) | Close-Up Film Review
Dir. Seth MacFarlane, US, 2015, 115 mins
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Stewart
Featuring the return of Mark Wahlberg, who again brings his comedic a-game along with surprising tenderness playing John Bennett, a man whose best friend is a talking teddy bear whom came to life because of John’s love for his cuddly companion. But Ted is far from cuddly. Now in his mid-thirties, John Bennett and Ted are pot smokers with an obsession for 80s’ TV shows such as Flash Gordon, constantly speak about masturbation and both pull unbelievably disgusting pranks on each other. If you haven’t watched the first Ted, go back and watch before you sit down to check out this sequel.
With the duo returning, the focus shifts to Ted’s life after the first film, where he gets married to his long-time girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) and settles down to have a child. From this, Ted finds out he isn’t legally a person, but a property which cannot legally be married, nor adopt a child. This is the backbone for the film with sequences wrapped around this theme but the storyline isn’t necessarily the main reason why you’ll go to see this film. Very much like an episode of Family Guy, it’s the interactions between characters, the gross humour, the well placed f*** and to see how far MacFarlane can take it. Bearing in mind it can range from a scene in a sperm bank which can only end one way, to smaller, better timed one-liners which will give you quotes for many months to come. Meanwhile John wallows in his sadness as his marriage to Mila Kunis’s character in the previous film lasted longer than the amount of time you’ll be crying in laughter from the opening scene. This time John’s interest lies in Amanda Seyfried who plays Samantha Leslie Jackson (which in reading should trigger a reference which is mentioned in the film to great hilarity). Samantha is a newly qualified lawyer and is given the case of Ted’s right to be a person, not a property.
The fantastic cameos are much stronger here: Ted and John’s attempt to steal Tom Brady’s sperm, Dennis Haysbert (for those 24 fans out there) as a fertility doctor, sequences mimicking Saturday Night Live and Late Night hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno (who also joins in with ripping himself involving a bathroom scene), Liam Neeson’s bewildering customer experience encounter (which is one of the highlights of the film), and Morgan Freeman as a civil rights lawyer. An amazing return for Patrick Warburton too as Guy, the co-worker of John’s who gets so f***** up that he cannot remember his previous night’s escapades, as he takes his character to a new level, in which his whole function in the last half hour of the film is hilarious. MacFarlane has steeped this film in cultural relevance with inclusions of civil rights issues and the hysteria around a comic-con (this one set in New York, with San Diego’s right around the corner).
Ted 2 is definitely is a step up from Ted and will easily be one of the biggest comedies of the year. A recommendation for the film is to go with friends, go to a busy screen to really appreciate the sense of community when it comes to letting go of your preconceived notions of whether or not to laugh. Oh and if it helps, have a drink or two. Might help loosen you up. And If you’re reading this after watching the film or come back to read it, I’m currently listening to Tiffany’s “I think we’re alone now” and doing the impressive Ribisi dance, which I’m sure you’ll be doing too very soon.
Review by Simon Childs