I have just returned home after seeing the new Seth MacFarlane film “Ted 2.” All I have to say is: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!! That’s right. Do not see this movie if you do not like Seth MacFarlane. Do not see this movie if you lack a sense of humor. Do not see this movie if you don’t enjoy nostalgia and/or pop-culture references. Do not see this movie if you hate smartly placed cameos by random famous people. And especially do not see this movie if you have a stick up your bum and are easily offended. Now, if none of those criteria apply to you, then you MUST go see “Ted 2” as soon as humanly possible.
Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show” and “American Dad” wrote the screenplay and made his feature length directorial debut with the first “Ted” film. Now he is back for another round, once again writing and directing as well as voicing the titular character of the bear who was brought to life by a childhood wish from his friend, John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg. I will admit…. I didn’t see the first film. It’s not that I didn’t want to see it, I just never got around to it. Luckily, if you are like me, you won’t be lost going in to see the riotous sequel. (I saw it with a friend who did see the first one and he said this latest offering was more consistently funny than its predecessor.) Not knowing exactly what to expect going in (other than the fact that I love Seth MacFarlane’s comedic stylings), I have to say that I was definitely wowed!
It opens with the wedding of Ted and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), officiated by Sam J. Jones, with John as Ted’s best man. The opening musical dance number which covers the credits and features Ted with an entire troupe of dancers in tuxedos and white feathered dresses looked to be right out of an old Fred Astaire & Gingers Rogers film from the 1930’s. (Very MacFarlane-esque.) From the wedding and reception, we fast forward one year and the honeymoon is definitely over. Ted and Tami-Lynn are fighting and it seems like their marriage is doomed until a co-worker tells Ted that a baby will fix everything. Taking her advice, Ted & Tami-Lynn seek out a sperm donor which leads to a hilarious encounter with Patriots QB Tom Brady. When this fails, the couple attempts adoption which leads to Ted’s status being flagged by the U.S. Government who declare him property and, as such, strip him of his civil rights. John vows to help his best friend get his proper status as a person back and they end up finding a lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) who is inexperienced but very eager to help. While the case gains great media attention, the verdict comes back that Ted is, indeed, not really a person. Defeated on their first attempt in court, the trio make their way to New York City to seek the aid of famed civil rights attorney Patrick Meighan (Morgan Freeman). Their plans are further complicated by the return of Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) from the first movie who is determined to kidnap Ted and turn him over to toy giant Hasbro for the chance to dissect the bear and see what makes him special in the hopes of mass producing Ted so that Donny may finally have a Ted of his own. The whole thing culminates in a knock-down, drag-out brawl in the middle of New York City Comic Con that is a comedic spectacle in and of itself.
To be clear for those who, like myself, did not see the first film, this is NOT intended for kids just because it has a cute, cuddly teddy bear as the star. I think I heard the F-bomb dropped more during the movie’s 1hr, 48 minute running time than I did during my last Martin Scorsese marathon. That being said, this movie is EXTREMELY funny. I’ve always LOL’ed during “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show” but this was…. something else altogether. Again, if you’re not a fan of Seth MacFarlane’s particular brand of comedy then (A) there is something wrong with you. And (B) you may not be as amused as I was. For my part, I can definitely say I’ll be hitting this movie up again later just for the sheer fact that the raucous laughter of myself and the crowd kept me from hearing 1/3 of the wisecracks which came at a break-neck pace throughout. From the unapologetic politically incorrect jokes & gags to the perfectly executed cameos from stars such as Jay Leno and Liam Neeson along with the hijinks of returning stalwarts Sam J. Jones and Patrick Warburton (wait until you see the costumes Warburton and on-screen b/f Michael Dorn wear to comic con!!) this movie will make sure you leave with your funny bone thoroughly tickled. I will say that I expected a little bit more of a social commentary when I learned of the plot line and I am not sure if I am disappointed it wasn’t a little more pronounced or if I’m glad that it wasn’t too heavy-handed. Regardless, I strongly feel that this movie will have a very strong box office take and, considering the commercial and financial success of the original, be a strong contender for top spot for it’s opening weekend. Bottom line: If you want to see THE comedy movie of the summer, then “Ted 2” is your film.