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dir Seth MacFarlane
scr Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
prd Seth MacFarlane, Scott Stuber, Jason Clark, John Jacobs
with Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, John Slattery, Sam J Jones, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn, Bill Smitrovich, Cocoa Brown
release US 26.Jun.15, UK 8.Jul.15
15/US Universal 1h55
Hit the road: Wahlberg, Ted and Seyfried
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
As with the 2012 original, this comedy fires so many gags at the audience that something's bound to hit the target. We're laughing just enough to barely notice how feeble the premise is, or how simplistic the deranged Capraesque plot is. Especially as it plays so loosely with civil rights themes. But MacFarlane wins us over with his dense onslaught of nice and nasty gags.
After his marriage collapses, John (Wahlberg) is avoiding women while his teddy-bear pal Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) has marital problems with his wife Tami-Lynn (Barth). To save their relationship, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to adopt a baby, but this alerts the authorities, which declare that Ted is property, not a person. With their marriage annulled and Ted's life essentially erased, they hire novice lawyer Samantha (Seyfried) to sue Massachusetts for Ted's right to be called a person. But Ted's nemesis-stalker Donny (Ribisi) is secretly enlisting Hasbro to quietly make sure Ted loses his case.
The corny plot merely offers a framework in which John and Ted can get up to their usual antics, most of which centre on how they continue to act like teen stoners. But the interaction between them is genuinely hilarious, especially when Samantha gives them a run for their money. So even if the story has absolutely nowhere to go, making the most obvious points in the process, the movie keeps the audience entertained.
It helps that Wahlberg, Seyfried and company are up for pretty much anything, including rather a lot of male-oriented humiliation with vaguely homophobic overtones. Ted is so cleverly written and animated that we never doubt that he's a person: no inanimate object could be this stupid. Despite their inane antics, the characters remain likeable. And this includes bit players like Warburton and Dorn, who get one of the best running gags during an epic visit to New York Comic-Con.
There are also a series of inspired cameos, including sequences featuring Tom Brady and Liam Neeson (the real joke is that his bit involves the cereal Trix rather than Lucky Charms). And MacFarlane fills every scene with brainy humour, idiotic slapstick, corny one-liners and carefully orchestrated punchlines. Some make us laugh because they catch us by surprise, others because they're almost too on-the-nose. And while the emotional schmaltz in the final act feels forced, it leaves us hoping we haven't seen the last of these morons.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2015 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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