Ted 2

 

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The potty-mouthed teddy bear is back and fighting for his civil rights.

   
Ted 2

Jessica Barth and Ted

 

Ted – in case you missed Seth MacFarlane’s very funny and politically infelicitous 2012 comedy of the same name – is a walking, talking, bong-sucking, foul-mouthed teddy bear. Yet bad girls find him irresistible. And now Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) has agreed to walk up the aisle with him. However, after nine months of married hell, they decide to have a baby, the better to divert their attention away from each other. But being a stuffed toy, Ted lacks a vital reproductive appendage and so he and his best friend, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), decide to approach Flash Gordon – at least, his thespian incarnation, Sam J. Jones – for a donation. But Jones, after years of drug abuse, has only got one spermatozoon left, and is not ready to give it up.

 

All this is outrageous and amusing stuff, with the odd star cameo (Liam Neeson, Jay Leno) thrown in for celebrity spice. However, once the film reaches the halfway mark, the plot – rustled up by MacFarlane and co-scripters Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild – gets a tad conventional and the laughs begin to fade. Ted is now fighting for his civil rights, but in the eyes of the law “he” is not deemed “a person” and so all sorts of waste matter hits the fan. When the plot steers Ted, Bennett and a pop-culturally challenged lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) to New York to seek the services of a civil rights attorney (Morgan Freeman), things get majorly out of hand.

 

An ensuing fracas at a New York Comic-Con is just pointless and tedious and another excuse to poke fun at the less fortunate (geeks in spandex). The cruel streak running through Ted 2 merely continues an age-old tradition of comedy but had Ted himself any redeeming features he might have made a more nuanced and engaging teddy bear. And the comic frisson produced by such venerable figures as Morgan Freeman and Sir Patrick Stewart exercising their potty mouths quickly wears thin.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Barth, John Slattery, Morgan Freeman, Sam J. Jones, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn, Bill Smitrovich, John Carroll Lynch, Ron Canada, Liam Neeson, Dennis Haysbert, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Kate McKinnon, Jay Patterson; narrated by Patrick Stewart.

 

Dir Seth MacFarlane, Pro Scott Stuber, Seth MacFarlane, Jason Clarke and John Jacobs, Screenplay Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, Ph Michael Barrett, Pro Des Stephen J. Lineweaver, Ed Jeff Freeman, Music Walter Murphy, Costumes Cindy Evans.

 

Media Rights Capital/Fuzzy Door Productions/Bluegrass Films-Universal Pictures.

115 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 8 July 2015. Cert. 15.