The foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, Boston-accented teddy bear is back in the follow-up to the original smash hit. The second trip to the well isn’t quite as fruitful. Ted 2 has narrative issues and a few too many endings, but the laughs do come in large doses, particularly in the first hour. Mark Wahlberg’s innocent gullibility is used well and he is genuinely talented at playing off of the CGI creation, not an easy task when the logistics are considered. Unfortunately, Wahlberg’s character is sidelined for a story that focuses squarely on the bear’s dilemma over individual human rights. The timely issue is veiled in joke about semen, the Kardashians, and numerous other targets.
When we last saw Ted (Seth MacFarlane) and his ‘thunder buddy for life’ John (Mark Wahlberg), the two were riding high (literally, stoned) at John’s wedding to Lori. Now, it’s Ted’s turn to walk down the aisle and marry his longtime girlfriend Tammy-lynn. Shortly after the duo exchanges vows trouble arises. The opening scene depicting the martial trouble of the white-trash cashier and the stuffed animal are purposefully reminiscent of the dysfunctional relationship in Raging Bull.
To save his marriage Ted suggests the couple try to have a child, since he doesn’t posses genitalia this proves problematic. John, a recent divorcee, and severely depressed, offers up his sample for a surrogate impregnation. This leads to some obvious hijinks in the collection facility. Meanwhile, the government doesn’t recognize the bear’s rights and deem his marriage a sham and label Ted as ‘property’.
Donnie (Giovanni Ribisi), the psycho father from the original is back as well. Time has not squelched his determination to posses Ted for himself. Donnie cleans the stalls at toy company Hasbro, but takes advantage of an opportunity to pitch the CEO on the prospects of requiring Ted and selling them by the millions, since Ted is still Hasbro property.
All of this legal wrangling leads to the emergence of pro-bono lawyer Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried). This provides John with a love interest and Ted with a target for his jokes. Mila Kunis is sorely missed as SeyFried’s comedic timing isn’t nearly as sharp as her peers.
Ted 2 suffers from a common problem in comedic sequels, it’s meandering, scatter-shot, and not as streamlined as the original. There is also a musical number that stops the movie dead cold. However, the laughs and irreverent humor do carry the film a long way. In no sense a classic, but a lite diversion from the summertime superhero multiplex traffic-jams.
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried