As far as 2015 sequels go, “Ted 2” lies somewhere in the middle.
The follow-up to “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 hit, “Ted 2” follows John (Mark Wahlberg) and his talking teddy bear (voiced and motion captured by MacFarlane), who must prove Ted is human in a court of law in order for him to have a child with his wife. Amanda Seyfried also stars as MacFarlane directs and co-writes.
The first “Ted” was an entertaining bromance flick that made $550 million; so in other words, a sequel was inevitable. While I found MacFarlane’s last film “A Million Ways to Die in the West” amusing enough, I have been reminded on numerous occasions by various people that I am wrong and it is awful. So I walked into “Ted 2” just hoping this wouldn’t be another step back for MacFarlane.
The opening sequence of “Ted 2” had me worried. Very worried. Because there’s no joke to ruin, I’ll just tell you what happens: after the film opens with Ted getting married, it breaks out into a dance number. But it’s not for laughs, it’s played completely straight. I kept waiting for the joke to come or for someone to trip, but no one does. Then when it wrapped up I expected some one-liner acknowledging how dumb what we just sat through was, but it never comes. The movie just begins.
MacFarlane is a very talented guy, and as his hosting of the Oscars showed he can make song-and-dance amusing, but I really have no clue what the dance routine was doing in here, unless he lost a bet with the head of some tap dance studio.
But luckily, the film gets (sorta) better. Wahlberg and MacFarlane maintain the same quick chemistry from the first film, and some of the jokes are inspired and clever. There is one scene that may offend some viewers–but then again if you’re easily offended, don’t go to a Seth MacFarlane film–where John and Ted yell off-color suggestions to an improve group. It’s awful and in bad taste and I loved every second of it.
The biggest flaw “Ted 2” has is its pacing. There are times when the film just seems to drag, and it honestly becomes un…bear-able, to sit through (I’ll be here all week). It’s not so much the fault of the editing as much as the narrative. The plot of Ted wanting a kid and needing to prove he’s human only lasts about half the film; the second half is like the lovechild of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and the first “Ted.” That’s to say it becomes a buddy roadtrip film with the sideplot of the creepy stalker from the original film (Giovanni Ribisi) trying to kidnap Ted (*sigh* again). The final 25 minutes of the film had me getting anxious for it to just be over with.
Look, “Ted 2” is one of those films that you already knew whether or not you were going to see it before the trailers even came out; no review is going to alter your decision. That being said, I can still prepare you for what you’re walking into (or what you’re skipping). Like MacFarlane’s last film, “Million Ways to Die,” “Ted 2” suffers from pacing and a stretched-thin plot, however it is relatively funny. If you only care about watching a teddy bear say the f-bomb while throwing apples at joggers, then go enjoy yourself. If you need any real depth, development or surprises in your comedies, then you need not apply. I personally found enough enjoyment in “Ted 2” to avoid disappointment, but still not quite enough to feel satisfied.
Critics Rating: 5/10