Seth MacFarlane's trash-talking teddy returns to cinemas for more of the same
Back in 2012, Seth MacFarlane’s Ted became one of the smash hits of the summer, eventually raking in over $549 million, with its tale of a foul-mouthed teddy bear with a penchant for pot and prostitutes. Now comes the sequel, inevitably – and it really is more of the same. More swearing. More bong-pulling. More bodily fluids. All that and a bizarre plot about civil rights for talking teddies; not since the Legally Blonde films has Hollywood found jurisprudence so funny.
It all begins after our furry friend (voiced again by writer-director MacFarlane) and his new wife Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) are denied the chance to adopt a baby, with the courts soon ruling Ted to be property rather than a person. Together with his 'thunder buddy' John (Mark Wahlberg) and their weed-smoking rookie lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), Ted goes on a crusade to New York to appeal against the decision and reclaim his liberties.
MacFarlane’s script, co-written with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, is typical of Hollywood comedy today, entwining sentiment and shock-value. One minute Ted and John are trying to masturbate American football star Tom Brady to get a sperm sample, the next they’re bromantically bonding over failed relationships. More often than not, it’s a film that thinks with its groin; that is, when it’s not trying to crack wise about 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo attack.
To be fair, it’s far better than MacFarlane’s lame Blazing Saddles-wannabe A Million Ways to Die in the West that stank out cinemas last year. The CG rendering of Ted is still quite brilliant – one particular squabble with Wahlberg is breathtakingly achieved. And, for every gag that flops, two belters are right behind it. True, the novelty factor of the original has disappeared. But if you’re looking for a shamelessly puerile comedy, you won’t find anything lewder or louder this summer.
General release from Wed 8 Jul.