Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried
Release Date: 8th July 2015 (UK)
Following the 2012 success of Ted, creator Seth MacFarlane and his co-star Mark Wahlberg have returned for another gag-filled romp through Boston as the animated teddy bear goes on a quest to prove his personhood.
The film opens with a typical introduction to the world of Ted with a whistlestop tour of his wedding to Tami-Lynn, seguing into a big opening dance number that harks back to the big Broadway melody musicals of the 1930s. This elaborate opening credits sequence, though enjoyable to watch and clearly a nod to MacFarlane’s own interest, was a distraction from the film itself and could easily have been left out. However, Ted 2 is a two hour splurge of inner dialogue from its creator, and largely succeeds in making us laugh throughout.
After quickly discarding the absence of Mila Kunis through a passing of time which handily included her character’s divorce from Wahlberg, the narrative soon descends into a string of set pieces and toilet humour. There’s nothing wrong with this done right, and luckily Ted 2 is in the hands of perhaps the most suitable man in Hollywood.
Set a few years after the events of the first movie, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a baby in order to deal with their current marriage issues. After a failed sperm donation exercise – imagine any scenario-related jokes and they’re in there – they pursue adoption, only to be informed that Ted is not a US citizen and legally recognised at property. This triggers a downward spiral as Ted’s life falls apart, so with the help of newly qualified lawyer Amanda Seyfried the thunder buddies endeavor to legalise Ted and get his life back on track.
Unfortunately, the transition to film does have its challenges for a guy who has made his name in animated television sitcoms, and at times the story does jolt from one section to the next. There are pacing problems, but there’s a marked improvement from its predecessor.
Seyfried also provides an adequate replacement to Mila Kunis, as the laid back, liberal weed-smoking counterpart to John’s now ex-wife. The blossoming relationship between the two is very well-executed, and for the most part is the most emotionally resonant strand in the plot. The resolution, both in their relationship and Ted’s, is not event slightly surprising, but a comedy you can watch despite knowing the end is a comedy worth watching.
Finally, pull in a few favours and get a few memorable cameos, particularly Liam Neeson buying cereal, and Ted 2 is one of the best laugh-out-loud comedies since, well, Ted.