Ted 2 Review: Oh No They Didn’t

Ted 2 Review
out of 5

I will say this upfront, I love this kind of humor. I cut my teeth on the likes of Mel Brooks, who made irreverent movies in the ’70s and ’80s that could not even be attempted today. Seth MacFarlane comes from that school of comedy. In fact, it would not be a stretch to call MacFarlane this generation’s Mel Brooks. In defense of this statement, Brooks’ comedy — in his time — was often hated on, as he skewered race, sex, religion, politics, and whatever else he could to find laughs. Brooks understood that we laugh hardest when we laugh at the hard truths of the world and when we laugh at ourselves. And it was hilarious each time. Don’t believe me, re-watch Blazing Saddles or History of the World Part 1 some time. The “PC Police” would have had that films out of theaters after opening day.

Ted and it’s sequel, the boringly-titled Ted 2, follow that path that Mel Brooks blazed some 40 years ago. Nothing is off limits, and anything and everything can be made fun of, no matter of race, sexual orientation, handicap, political leanings, or social standing.

Ted 2 Review

The story of a man named John (Mark Wahlberg) and his stuffed childhood friend, Ted (voiced by MacFarlane, who also co-wrote and directed) resonated with audiences in 2012, and now the sequel looks to push the formula further by pushing the envelope well past the point of breaking.

Ted 2 opens with Ted and his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) getting married, because, as Patrick Stewart’s narration tells us, “America doesn’t give a S#!t.” Sam Jones, better known as “Flash Gordon” from the 1980 film best known for its theme song written by the rock band Queen, officiates the wedding with most of the characters returning from the first film (curiously, Mila Kunis does not reprise her role here) in attendance. The jokes come fast and furious, and while many miss their marks, other land hard causing uproarious laughter.

Ted 2 Review

Soon after the wedding, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a baby, and after seeking a few more well-known sperm donors (Tom Brady, for one), Ted asks his Thunder Buddy, John (Wahlberg) to be the surrogate, which leads to a rather disgusting scene inside a fertility clinic. When that fails, Ted and Tami-Lynn turn to adoption, but once the state of Massachusetts learns that Ted is a toy, and not a person, a legal battle ensues to determine if Ted can be more than just property.

John and Ted are joined by a young attorney named Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) and together, the three try to win Ted his case. There are 80s-like montages and more jokes and classic Family Guy-esque cut aways, all leading to big, and sometimes uncomfortable, laughs. Again, there are no sacred cows when Seth MacFarlane and Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are writing the script. There is even a whole segment of jokes directed at Arizona State University. This was particularly amusing to me, as the screener I sat in on was about a mile off the ASU campus. And you know what? The audience laughed the hardest at these jokes.

Ted 2 Review

While Ted 2 works to be one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, there is one subplot that fails, and that is the return of Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), who now works as a janitor at Hasbro and his desire to have a Ted all his own drives him to convince the CEO of the famous toy company to help kidnap Ted to find out what makes him be alive. This plot nearly stops the movie and derails it, but it does set up a fantastic finale that takes place at New York Comic Con and leads the most epic of geek brawls — and a payoff on a running gag about Amanda Seyfried’s eyes.

There are also cameos by Morgan Freeman as a powerful civil rights attorney that Ted and company need to win their case, and a bizarre, yet incredibly insane scene featuring Liam Neeson buying a box of children’s cereal. There is a post-credits scene that wraps up the Neeson storyline, so be sure to stick around.

Ted 2 Review

Ted 2 is wrong is almost every way, but like the films of Mel Brooks, the wrong makes it right. The jokes are plentiful and if one or two miss, know that there are many more right behind them and chances are one or two will hit and hit big. I don’t think I have laughed so hard at a movie in a theater than I did here, and political correctness aside, this is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. I said it before and it bears repeating.

Ted 2 is not for everybody, but fans of the first film, which is still the biggest selling R-rated comedy ever, will find plenty to enjoy here, and multiple screenings will be needed, as you will laugh through punchlines and the sheer amount of insanity that MacFarlane and crew are throwing against the wall. You can call it crap, but you will still be laughing as you do so.

Ted 2 is rated R and is in theaters now.

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