It shouldn’t be too surprising that after grossing more than a half-billion dollars worldwide, we would get a sequel to the 2012 smash hit Ted. But as I say in my video review above, this is a comic follow-up worth its weight in jokes — jokes that land just about every time. That’s thanks to the talents of Seth MacFarlane, who — as creator and the voice of Ted — makes sure this foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear is blissfully politically incorrect. For those out there who will be offended by some of the gags in this film, I join Ted in saying “lighten up.”
After launching a bit of a dud Western comedy last year with A Million Ways To Die In The West, MacFarlane is back on solid ground with his ingenious comic creation, a teddy bear that talks and has human traits. If they live up to the standards of this one, I hope the sequels just keep on coming. Ted 2 is flat-out hilarious and not afraid to “go there” in search of a cheap laugh. This is the kind of movie you will be quoting over and over to friends, but don’t give it all away.
The basic premise this time has Ted marrying his beloved Tami Lynn (Jessica Barth) in an elaborate wedding ceremony that opens the film, complete with a terrific Busby Berkeley-style ’30s musical number with Ted leading a band of elegant dancers. But soon the marriage is on the rocks, and the only way Ted thinks he can save it is to have a baby. Easier said than done, considering his stuffed shortcomings. With the help of best buddy John (Mark Wahlberg), now divorced himself, they set out in search of the perfect sperm donor and settle on a scheme to break into Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s house while he is asleep to, well, milk this cow, so to speak. When that doesn’t work out, of course, John volunteers to go to a sperm bank and donate, again with disastrous consequences.
So why not adopt? The problem is, in the eyes of the law Ted is “property,” not a human being, and ineligible to adopt. They get into a legal fight, employing services of bong-smoking lawyer Amanda Seyfried and even Morgan Freeman along the way. In a subplot, creepy Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), who in the first film nearly did Ted in, is back — selling toy company Hasbro on an idea to kidnap Ted, carve him up and discover the secret to why he talks thus be able to duplicate him millions of times over for every one who ever wanted the kind of friendship John and Ted have. It all comes to a head at Comic-Con, and it never lags.
Pound for pound, Ted 2 has more laughs that any movie this year. And in a case of anti-product placement, the producers somehow convinced Hasbro — complete with using real executives’ names, in one instance — to be the villain here. Did you ever think that could happen in today’s uptight corporate America?
Wahlberg shows great physical comedy gifts again here, and MacFarlane’s Ted is perfection. Seyfried is a delight and even gets to sing a sweet new tune, “Mean Old Moon,” written by MacFarlane and Walter Murphy. It could land this sequel a Best Song Oscar nom, just as the first Ted also did for MacFarlane. The cast also includes Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, Mad Man’s John Slattery and a slew of celebrity cameos including Brady, a hilarious Liam Neeson and even Jay Leno in a blink-and-you-miss-it gag. Joining Director MacFarlane in writing the script were Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Producers are MacFarlane, Scott Stuber, Jason Clark and John Jacobs.
Universal releases the MRC production on Friday. Do you plan to see Ted 2? Let us know what you think.