“Ted” – Review By Zachary “The FilmWizard” Marsh

‘Family Guy’ is one of the most controversial television shows ever put on television. It’s crass and offensive humor has sparked much argument over how vulgar it can be while getting away with a TV-14 rating. Even after being cancelled twice, the show is still very popular amongst the 14+ range, and still sparks up ratings like there’s no tomorrow. Now the creator of ‘Family Guy,’ Seth MacFarlane, has decided to make a movie with all of the humor of the controversial show stuffed into the body of a 2 foot tall Teddy Bear. This new film is called ‘Ted’ and it stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and MacFarlane as the pot smoking, foul mouthed title character. I personally got early reactions from some friends of mine saying that it was the funniest movie of the year. Of course that only made me even more excited to see this film, so after constant begging to the folks, I got the chance to see what these guys were talking about. While the movie was hilarious many times throughout, I felt that the third act was very uninspired and clichéd, plus the villains of the film were both weird and unnecessary.  ‘Ted’ is a hilarious comedy by all means, but it isn’t the funniest comedy of the year by any means.

As a kid, John is longing for someone to be his very best friend. After a wish where John wants his teddy bear, known in child form as “Teddy,” to come to life, the wish comes true. Teddy instantly becomes a worldwide sensation in the media and everyone seems to love him. Unlike most celebrities though, Teddy never forgets John throughout the years. Like all fame though, Teddy’s goes down the drain almost instantaneously, and 27 years later still lives with John, but he drops f-bombs all the time and smokes bongs on a daily basis. Now John’s girlfriend Lori wants Teddy, now referred to as Ted, to move out of their house and grow up like everyone else, as well as John. John has to decide if he wants to be a man-child with Ted or grow up with Lori.

Mark Wahlberg is coming off of his January stinker ‘Contraband’ and is doing some good work in this film. He has some shining moments with Mila Kunis in some scenes, but it’s the scenes where he’s either partying with or smoking a bong on a couch with Ted where Wahlberg shows how funny he can be. In fact, there are some moments with Wahlberg that will have the audience laughing to the max. Mila Kunis was also really good as John’s girlfriend. Even though she wants to kick Ted out so she and John can start their adult lives together, Mila’s character Lori seemed to be a cool person to be around and her desires don’t get too selfish. As for Ted himself, he is unquestionably the most enjoyable character in the entire film.

MacFarlane might use a voice that is nearly identical to a Boston version of Peter Griffin, but Ted is his own person and he is one of the most shocking, yet hysterically great, characters to come in this decade. Ted does nothing but constantly spew sewage in the form of f-bombs, makes racist jokes, talks about doing chickSome of the stuff that Ted says is actually really shocking and a little far-fetched. However that is how the character’s supposed to be, and for that the audience just has to go along with it and bear with everything this cuddly little bear has to say. This guy will either have you laughing throughout, or have your jaw dropped to the ground in shock. It all depends on whether you’re willing to go with the flow or be offended all the way through. Unfortunately this movie does have some supporting players, but the villains of the film are what really brings my final consensus down.

I guess one could say that Joel McHale’s character is a bad guy since his goal in the film is trying to get into Mila Kunis’ pants. For some reason, I didn’t mind him as much as I minded other characters. Sure this guy was a certified asshole, but that’s what he’s supposed to be and for that I enjoyed him in it. The villains who I did have a problem with were Giovanni Ribisi as Donny and Aedin Mincks as Donny’s kid. Their story in the movie, along with the entire third act, wasn’t really needed at all. Their story, which I won’t give away, I thought that it was the most pointless side story I’ve seen all year. Not just that, but I found the characters to be really annoying as well. I’m not sure if I should call Ribisi a stalker or a predator in this film, because he just became this really weird fellow in the third act. As for the kid, well he was just the set up for a bunch of fat jokes, some of which were funny. If the film had a simple plot about John’s relationship with Lori, then this film would’ve had a higher rating. Unfortunately when things started to fall apart, they sadly crumbled quite a bit.

Other than the sloppy villains and a disappointing third act, ‘Ted’ is a hilarious directorial debut from Seth MacFarlane with shocking jokes and foul language to go around. The acting is good from Wahlberg and Kunis, but it’s MacFarlane who steals the show in terms of writing, directing, and starring in the film as the teddy bear. What’s unfortunate about parents these days is that they will probably take their kids to see this movie because there’s a teddy bear on the poster. What they don’t get is that this is a Hard-R movie and certainly not for anyone under 15. This movie is filled with language, racist humor, and some vulgar humor unlike anything that’s been shown in a movie all year. The stuff in this even pushes the boundaries for ‘Family Guy’ standards, which was a bold move by MacFarlane. Nevertheless, the vulgar and racist humor, while sometimes shocking, was pretty funny when it hit at the right moments in time.

If someone is looking for a fun movie to see with a bunch of friends, then this will probably be that movie to go to. Even if someone isn’t a fan of MacFarlane’s TV shows, chances are they might laugh a few times anyway. I wish I could say that ‘Ted’ is the funniest movie of the year, but sadly I cannot. The character, however, may go down as the most entertaining character of 2012 instead, which is still an accomplishment for a first time director. ‘Ted’ is crude, offensive, vulgar, and a little sloppy in the third act. However, it is overall a consistently funny film that will have even a person with the driest sense of humor howling in their seat a couple of times. And to answer the question that many people who have seen the film’s red band trailer, the answer is yes: the “Thunder Buddies” song is in the film, and yes: it is as funny in the film as it is in the trailer.


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