Ted 2 (2015)

Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to
qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court
of law.

Directed by Seth MacFarlane
Starring Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfrie, Morgan Freeman, Giovanni Ribisi

I kind of let out a sad little sigh when I heard they were making another one of these. I was still reeling from the hype that A Million Ways To Die In The West had failed to live up to (moustache, moustache) and the memories of the first adventure with this foul-mouth aberration of nature, whilst fond, were not as joyous as some of those early season Family Guy episodes. Now those were the days. Days that I wanted the first Ted movie to recreate. Well if we’re honest, it didn’t really, did it.

So, as I say, whilst the first feature length venture from Seth MacFarlane was maybe not as biting or satirical as I personally would have liked, it still had its own peculiar offensive charm. Not quite offensive enough, but it was still littered with enough moments that you shouldn’t really have laughed at, but did anyway. If you’ve already had a quick gander at the RED BAND (stay away, young ‘uns) trailer, then you’ll notice that this time around, it is just as (not very) subtle and sometimes a little more puerile and vulgar. Couple that with some genuine moments that will surprise you by their poignancy and you have a slightly different animal. A more slightly stuffed cuddly toy, if you like.

This time around, now the shock and wonder of Ted’s actuality has been at least partially recognised and people are seemingly no longer surprised by a stuffed toy walking down the street talking to his friends. Ted has married Tami-Lynn and they set about the task of adopting a child, seeing as they are not able to have one of their own. At this point, it comes to light that Ted, despite his marriage, has yet to be formally identified as a person and must prove the fact that he is not ‘property’ in a court of law.

The plot is pretty ridiculous, all told, and those of you expecting some kind of civil rights courtroom drama will seriously be left wanting. Ted and the erstwhile thunder buddy Mark Wahlberg decide to hire a lawyer, the pot smoking Amanda Seyfried, to defend Ted’s right to be recognised as an individual, so that he can legally marry Tami-Lynn and adopt the child they want so much as to cause all of this furore in the first place.

MacFarlane does just about enough with his script to still keep the titular Ted offensive whilst somehow convincing his audience that his intentions are still honourable. As an opportunity for social and cultural comment, for which MacFarlane is now notorious, it may be somewhat overlooked, much like the last outing, in favour of racial slurs, fart-gags and the occasional dig at people’s sexual orientation. The personal use of marijuana is just as evident as expected and the script is regularly (though far from always) ‘snort through your nose’ funny.

All told, this wasn’t really warranted and it struggles really to choose a side. The core following here will be drawn by the coarseness and vulgarity, which is present, but in order to get through to the end, that same audience is going to have to sit through a story that leans a little too closely to a overly sweet tale that firstly doesn’t really resonate given the characters and secondly, may not be what they want in the first place.

Funny certainly, as we would expect, but probably not funny enough to overlook the civil rights message that lurks underneath.

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