Ted 2 – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

ted 2Ted 2 – 3.5/5 – Comedies are meant to do one thing; make you laugh.  No matter the subject matter, story or how well the characters develop; the main point is to make you laugh.  On top of this, when you have a sequel to comedy, you have to go beyond the standards of the first and feel refreshing.  If a sequel uses the same jabs and predictable elements, it drowns out the comedic sensation that was unforgettable.  This is why most comedy sequels tend to fail (Hangover part 2), with only a few that exceed the first (22 Jump Street, Clerks 2).  With this being said, we have come to the crossroads of making you laugh, but better a second time around.  Case in point, we have Ted 2.  A sequel to a surprising smash hit from a few years ago, we find out loveably teddy bear and his best friend John as they are faced with new odds in this second feature.  Even with some predictable plot points and forced dramatic elements, there are enough laughs to create a film that is absurdly funny for fans of the first.

Premise:  With new adventures to be had, John and Ted are faced with a lot of new things in their lives. Faced with new challenges, Ted must prove the fact he is person. With everything on the line, Ted and John are left to their own devious.  As hilarious moments ensue, Ted and John will find what makes both of them real again.

The main leads of the film are returners of the first.  You have:

Mark Wahlberg as John

Seth MacFarlane as Ted (voice)

For everything that might be just OK in the film, these two create some of the best moments when they are together.  Just like the first; their chemistry is fluid, believable and top notch.  Watching Wahlberg on screen with a CGI created teddy bear would seem very unbelievable, but as they play off one another on screen, you see the rawness in their relationship.  You feel the ‘buddy/bro’ kind of mantra between them.  The reason the film stays watchable is because of these two.  Their witty, sharp and sometimes absurd dialogue creates a dynamic that is familiar and hilarious for them as well as the audience.  The ‘unpredictable’ nature of their conversation draws out that feeling that makes their relationship ‘human’.  Most of the moments that are funny involve them and the situations that are created from their obnoxious behavior.  Outside of these two, the rest of the cast come off as predictable comedic archetypes.  The acting is a ‘read the lines off paper’ kind of draw, as you clearly see them as either setups for awkward situations or there for comedic jabs.  They add a ‘basic’ color the painting, but don’t unearth amazing comedy in its overall entertainment.  Even for most of them being one-dimensional, there are a couple of bright spots.  They include:

Amanda Seyfried as Samantha (lawyer)

Jessica Barth as Tami-Lynn (Ted’s wife)

These two do a great job in complimenting the main cast.  They come across as real and unique characters, jumping out more than just being typecast as plot devices.  Their contrasting of personalities adds a better dimension to them, as well as when they interact with John and Ted.

The direction feels very sloppy.  It comes across as a film that has no real direction.  The ‘standard’ of film progression is thrown out the window from the get go.  The film feels more like a bunch of ‘skits’ and ‘comedic setups’ linked together to show some coherence.  Every scene is linked with a shallow string to form some kind of story.  For majority of the first half of the film, it is just a big setup of three story plot points:

Ted’s marriage to Tami-Lynn

John’s new single life

Ted’s ‘personhood’

Each of these setups is brought into the fold slowly, one after another.  As we watch these elements unfold, it comes across as standard intros with no real depth.  There is nothing added to these plot points to create any sense of character development.  As much as this can be disregarded in a comedy film, the ‘flaws’ are glaring because the comedic parts become very few and far between. A lot of the comedy is built upon quick and sharp dialogue that either setup specific situations or create ‘off the wall’ jabs-like scenarios.  Plausibility is thrown out the window for a lot of the stuff as you accept things at face value.  As funny as these scenes are (and there are very hilarious moments), that ‘quickness’ leaves a lot of empty lapses in the films progress.   This causes the ‘lack thereof’ of the setup plot points to feel hollow, creating dull moments.  The film then tries really hard to ‘shove’ elements of character moments, depth and themes of ‘personhood’; but it never molds with the comedy and feels forced to fill these empty spaces.  It never feels genuine (like the first film).  As the film progresses, we get obvious predictable plot devices, cameo characters and standard ‘game-changing’ moments that are bashed over your head in a literal fashion; as if the audience can’t figure out themselves.  Even for the obvious staggering moments, the relationship of John and Ted and their ‘wild’ adventures keeps you entertained.  When the film hits a climactic moment, it is both predictable but ridiculously hilarious.  By the epilogue, you are forgiving of some of the forced plot devices in the film because of Ted, John and the wildly funny moments in the film.

The visuals of the film are basic.  You get a very simple look at Boston and the rest of the city.  The creation of Ted is still top notch.  The intuitive creation of a ‘life-life’ teddy bear is surreal, but the believable factor of seeing it on screen and other interactions with him makes it all plausible.  The score is just another ‘added’ element to the film.  The music doesn’t add or deter from the overall enjoyment.

Ted 2 is a film filled with a lot of hilarious moments, but contrasts with a lot of predictable ones as well.  With the heart of the film staying focused on John and Ted, there is a lot of wonderment to be had.  If you’re a fan of the first film, or fan of wildly and ridiculous comedies, this is one for you.  A good time at the theaters for anyone that wants a talking teddy bear.

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