Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ted 2 Review

Can I review Ted 2 in less than 1000 words? Let's find out.

Ted 2 does not have an original bone in its body. It's still a relatively funny movie, but it's nothing at all like the first Ted. The original Ted was a surprise hit that came right out of nowhere and blew away most expectations. Let's be honest here, most of Seth Macfarlane's work starts out pretty strong, but degrades over time. By the time that Ted came out, most people were sick to death of his TV shows, or at least I was. With two films under his belt, has he already started to phone it in with his material? Yes and no.

While I still think that Ted 2 is inferior to its big brother, and not the best comedy of the year, its still above average and has a decent enough premise to keep me hooked for its two hour run time. However, its structure is what probably sinks the movie. There's no real plot or ending at all and things just happen for Ted and Johnie, still played by Seth and Mark Wahlberg respectively. They try to break into Tom Brady's house. There's a court case to prove Ted's humanity. They go to New York Comic Con. It's all just a weird kind of road trip that attempts to link everything with a plot about proving that Ted is alive, but it never really materializes and is just kind of there.

Speaking of, most of the humor in Ted 2 doesn't hit it out of the park either. While there are still some great jokes and lines in the movie, the highlight being an all out brawl at Comic Con and a surprise meet up with Liam Neeson, most of the jokes try even harder to aim at people with nostalgia for the 80's. While that might not be bad on the surface, it does feel like most of the jokes are dated, but not in a good way. You see, while the original could get away with having a prolonged glorifying sequence dedicated to Flash Gordon, it was a pretty good joke and led to some of the best moments of the first movie. Here, there are no big special sequences, so all of the older jokes just feel like that; old.

Amanda Seyfried joins the cast as Samantha L. Jackson (ha ha), who serves as Ted's lawyer and Johnie's eventual girlfriend. She's fine, but it never feels like she gels with this cast. And that's exactly the biggest problem with this movie. Nothing gels. There is no cohesion to these scenes or characters. Things just happen, celebrities and characters just appear, and we're expected to laugh at them. There's an incredibly bizarre sequence in the middle of the movie where Ted's trial gains mainstream attention and coverage by the news, and while some news outlets have fun commentary, some of them are played seriously. What's even more confusing is that we get an SNL skit during this coverage that I'm lost as to whether it was meant to be serious, a parody of Ted's trail, a parody of SNL, or a parody of bad SNL sketches that don't work. The humor is confusing and I don't think it fully understands how some of its jokes work.

But when they work, they still work. I was still laughing and chuckling at a lot of scenes in the movie. When you put these two in a sperm bank and leave them alone for a minute, the results are hilarious and exactly what you'd expect them to do. It's not ambitious, but it's not playing it safe. Hell, that's the whole premise of Ted. It never played it safe and had a lot of great little moments that any adult could enjoy. Ted 2 is serviceable. It's nothing outstanding, but getting some more Ted is never a bad thing.

Overall, I'm glad that I saw Ted 2, but it's not something that I'm going to be remembering anytime soon. I really don't know what you expect me to say about this movie. It's fine. It's cool. It's enjoyable. It's more Seth Macfarlane. If you like his work, you'll love this movie. If you're tired off him, you're gonna not like this movie. His style of humor is very hit or miss, and while it misses more than it hits in this movie, at least Seth on a bad day is still funnier than most comedies released today.


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