Friday, June 26, 2015

Movie Review #272: "Ted 2" (2015)

Movie"Ted 2"
Ticket Price: $12.50
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Image Source
Ted (Seth MacFarlane) and girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) finally get married. Unfortunately, after a year of marriage, things aren't going too well for the couple. They fight all the time and even throw things at each other, but Ted has a solution: why not have a child to bring them back together? Ted obviously can't biologically father a child, so they try many paths to get a sperm donor, and after all those paths fail, they try adoption. But, upon filling out adoption papers, Ted finds out he is not considered a person in the eyes of the law. This causes him to lose his job, have all his bank accounts and credit cards closed, and his marriage to Tami-Lynn annulled. As a result, Ted secures the services of attorney Samantha L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) and sues the state for his civil rights and personhood. 

At some point, we should just know better. That time was probably 2 Seth MacFarlane movies ago. Anything with his name attached to it is going to be an absolute, complete drudgery of a film. As fair critics, we go into these comedies with open hearts and minds, hoping to prove ourselves wrong, just once. Folks, "Ted 2" is not the answer to our woes.

It's been a couple of years since the first "Ted," and Seth MacFarlane, starved of original ideas, has decided to disgrace us with a sequel no one asked for in an effort to to cash in on the franchise that has since become an anthem and ode to pot smokers and bros alike. Of course, both Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg reprise their roles from the original as Ted and John, but gone is John's wife Lori, played by Mila Kunis in the original. She has been written out with a divorce that supposedly happened between the two films, when in actuality, Kunis didn't want to be in the second film once she got pregnant. This plot line is so, so lazy and basically negates and scraps the entire first movie. John spends the entire time fighting for their 6-year relationship in "Ted," only to have it end in divorce after 6 months. Come on, MacFarlane, you know this is careless. You expect us, the audience, to get invested in your characters and their plight, but do them the disservice of simply writing in a divorce? We would have believed this story line much more if Lori had been killed in a tragic accident. Hell, you could have even made up some zany excuse about how Mark Wahlberg was forced at gun point to land a plane and we would have believed this more than your pithy divorce plot. Lori is basically replaced by Amanda Seyfried, who plays Ted's pothead and pop culturally inept fresh out of law school lawyer Samantha L. Jackson, and it's funny because you can make a "black jokes" about her name.

Much like the original movie, "Ted 2" is loaded with dick and fart jokes, including a running gag about how Googling anything, not even a word or string of words similar in phraseology, could result in having the phrase "black cocks" come up as a suggestion. This happens at least 4 times. Once again, MacFarlane is hoping to capitalize on a crass teddy bear being offensively crude and praying to god that it's still funny. On top of all the dick jokes, there is a pretty steady stream of pop culture references, which we expected to happen since, well, it is from the creator of "Family Guy." To be fair, "Ted 2" isn't completely void of humor, but just about. The only times we genuinely laughed in this movie had nothing to do with Ted, or his horrible, gum-chewing wife Tami-Lynn, or perpetual man-child John Bennett, or newcomer Sam L. Jackson, who upon first meeting John and Ted smokes weed in from of them before her office door is even closed, their constant weed smoking fantasies, etc. The only times we laughed were at a couple of these pop culture references relevant to our lives outside of the "Ted" franchise: when Patrick Warburton dresses as The Tick at New York Comic Con, we were the only people laughing when this happened; when Liam Neeson and Ted have a hilarious exchange about a box of cereal; when Amanda Seyfried gets compared to Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings." Seth? Are you listening?? Referencing funny movies doesn't make you funny. We don't need to see Ted re-enacting the driving scene from "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," or doing an 80's style studying montage with the dance from "The Breakfast Club" to the song from "Revenge of the Nerds," or hear the "Jurassic Park" theme song while panning out on a field of pot plants. 3 whole minutes can't go by without a throwback to some 80's cliche, or a nod to Star Trek or Star Wars or Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Really, when push comes to shove, all the pop references add up to little more than exploiting nostalgia for his own financial profit and to cover up his hackneyed, lackadaisical writing. "Ted 2" also features a slew of cameos including the likes of Tom Brady, Michael Dorn and Jay Leno. These all involve not funny, bottom of the barrel jokes about gayness, masturbation, punching nerds in the face, and of course, deflategate. Under all the crude humor and nostalgic references is a courtroom case examining what it means to be a person. This is and has been a solid baseline for some stories, but in the end, we really don't care about any of this when it comes to Ted and whether or not he's a person or property. Anything that could have been significant gets lost under barrage of f-bombs and diaper humor, as well as a rehashed plot with the return of Giovanni Ribisi as Donny, still creepily trying to get his hands on his very own Ted doll.

It's hard to say we didn't see anything in "Ted 2" coming. Not only does it contain the same jokes from the first film, but it repeats the same new jokes multiple times in the span of a lonnnng 2 hour run time, as if to say them 3, 4, or even 5 times would finally make them funny. To have Mark Wahlberg fall into multiple vats of semen in a fertility clinic is not funny, it's plain old disgusting. In the end, "Ted 2" is just an R-rated, extended episode of "Family Guy" with Ted as Brian and Mark Wahlberg as Peter Griffin, if Peter Griffin was mentally unstable and a constant broseph man-child. If you're 13 or a stoner, chances are, this movie will sing to you as the song of your people, but if you're not, you'll probably walk away just as annoyed as we did.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~44%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment