Ted might be coming again but he doesn’t have what it takes to make a number 2.
Back in 1999, Seth MacFarlane introduced the world to Family Guy. Like most, I was a huge fan of the show when it first hit the air but became increasingly disappointed with the show over the past few years. At first, the show felt fresh, unique, and edgy while poking fun of films that MacFarlane obviously loved as a child. Nowadays, the show feels cheap, uninspired, and repetitive.
Over an entire decade later, MacFarlane made his way from the small screen to the big screen. This is when he introduced the world to Ted. Most loved Ted claiming it to be a live action R-rated Family Guy. In 2012, it seemed like MacFarlane was back in top form winning over most moviegoers and film critics alike. Then, A Million Ways to Die in the West happened. A film with an all-star cast that seemed like it had so much potential to be the next Blazing Saddles but instead ended up being one of the worst films of 2014.
Three years after the events of the original, Ted marries his long time girlfriend, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). A year later, Ted and Tami-Lynn begin to fight pretty consistently, which leads the couple to believe that they should have a baby in order to save their marriage. Unfortunately, because of Tami-Lynn’s prior drug use, she is infertile, leaving the newly married couple with no choice but to adopt a kid. While at the agency, Ted learns that the United States Government refuses to recognize him as a human being but instead as property. Now, Ted, Tami-Lynn, John (Mark Wahlberg) and a lawyer, fresh out of college, named Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) must fight the government to legalize Ted.
I will be honest and admit that I somewhat enjoyed Ted. While I didn’t find the film to be as hilarious as most, I will admit that it did have some funny moments and the chemistry between Ted, Mila Kunis, and Mark Wahlberg really held the film together. Ted 2, however, has nothing new to say and instead feels like a complete cash grab. The original was one of those films where it worked so well because it felt like it was something new that we never seen before. By making a sequel, most of the original’s magic is gone and now feels like more of the same.
Before I get into my overall problems with the film, I want to discuss the actors briefly. I don’t know if it’s just that I have some sort of crush on Amanda Seyfried but I felt like she brought something to the film. I am not going to say that Seyfried was amazing here but I will say she did have solid chemistry with Wahlberg and Ted. In addition, she was used to move the story along in more ways than one and her jokes worked the best out of all of them, including the film’s biggest laugh involving Lord of the Rings.
As far as MacFarlane and Wahlberg, I felt the whole back and forth between Ted and Wahlberg felt too familiar and repetitive. They still have solid chemistry but their time together just didn’t feel as genuine as it did the first time around. One should also mention that Wahlberg has far less to do this time around. They barely talk about why Mila Kunis isn’t in this film nor does the film ever focus on any part of John’s life outside his relationship with Ted.
In addition to the three leads, there are a lot of supporting cast members and cameos. The cameos for the most part are just pointless and unfunny. They feel like Seth MacFarlane wanted to show us that he could get people in this film but didn’t know what to do with them. The cameos here are the complete opposite of the ones in A Million Ways. Those served as some of that film’s strongest moments while the ones here were some of the film’s weakest points. They were just too random and seemed like they worked better on paper than on film.
One of my many issues with Ted 2 is the story. The idea of Ted being viewed and treated as a human being gets old really fast. The script has way too many layers to it, which only makes the story feel more drawn out. Instead of quickly getting to the point aka legalizing Ted, the film takes us through a series of painful scenes that include Ted and John trying to take Tom Brady’s sperm as well as John going to a sperm bank where a shelf of semen falls on him and Ted laughs and posts about it on social media. If that doesn’t sound painful enough, the script also manages to add in the fact that Tami-Lynn is infertile. This setup makes up the first 30 minutes of the film’s 115-minute runtime.
What makes matters even worse is the subplot involving Hasbro and Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), who you may remember as the villain from the original film. I felt the whole Donny scenario from the first film was incredibly weak but in the sequel it just seems like they promised Giovanni Ribisi that he could come back for the paycheck. With all this, the story becomes incredibly tedious and convoluted. Don’t even get me started on how the subplot felt more like product placement campaign for Hasbro rather than a secondary storyline.
I think I have finally grown tired of MacFarlane’s never ending film references. As I mentioned earlier, we have seen for the past 16 years that he loves to mock films in his shows and films. I love the Breakfast Club, Snow White, Jurassic Park, Planes Trains and Automobiles, as well as several others parodied within Ted 2 but these scenes aren’t really that clever or funny anymore. My audience seemed to eat up the scene where the John Williams score played while showing a weed farm, but it didn’t make me even crack a smile. I honestly love knowing that MacFarlane is a film buff but enough is enough already.
Finally, Ted 2 just isn’t that funny. How many times can you laugh at a weed joke or a semen joke without it getting tiresome? How many film references can you toss into a film before it feels stale and repetitive? How many times can you use Flash Gordon as the butt of the joke? I know Seth MacFarlane is a smart comedic talent but man oh man, does he shoot incredibly low here. I can honestly say that the improv scene in this film is just tasteless and painfully unfunny. There is a difference between pushing the envelope and just being mean and tasteless. Also, I don’t know why the film went to New York Comic Con but that part of the film was just painful.
All in all, Ted 2 is more of the same only nowhere near as entertaining or charming. The jokes here are repetitive, tasteless, and simply juvenile. The story is bloated and convoluted to put it lightly. It’s been over 48 hours since I saw the film and I am still scratching my head, wondering how MacFarlane convinced Morgan Freeman to be a part of this. While it’s not as bad as A Million Ways this is still a far cry from MacFarlane’s finest hour. I think this one is for die-hard Ted fans only but I think that even MacFarlane’s biggest fans will still feel this isn’t great. I know I expect more from comedy than what most films deliver nowadays but Ted 2 is as mediocre as comedies can be.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Ted 2 is a 4 out of 10.