TED 2 – Film Review
If the first movie was a success because of its pothead/toilet humour sputtered through the cotton mouth of a cuddly teddy bear, then the second movie is not that different.
Do not misunderstand me though, despite the good reviews the first movie received, I mostly remember trying hard to stay awake throughout most of these scenes aimed at winning the audience purely with their shock-factor. And the sequel is actually so terrible, it hurts.
This time, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is married to his work colleague, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), and wants to have a baby. But his marriage and his dream of having a baby soon crash as the state fails to recognise him as a person. With the help of a pothead lawyer, Samantha L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), Ted and his childhood buddy, John (Mark Wahlberg), must now fight to beat the system by proving that the talking bear is a person and not just a piece of property.
Many viewers found the original Ted to be quite the refreshing, dark take on humour; a concept not many directors can successfully bring to screen. And I can see why the concept seems exciting. It juxtaposes the idea of childhood innocence with crude, profane adult humour. It also casts a dim light on how some children may be just as vulgar as some adults. After all, we are not only raised by our parents, but also by our friends. And John’s closest friend is quite the obscene little teddy, isn’t he? Sure, a setting such as this can make for some great comedy.
But, of course, instead of going through the effort to produce a real, well thought-out story, the film has to resort to lazy jabs at minorities, and use sexism and perversion in the worst taste. Any good elements of the film are soon suffocated under the pile of trash that the director, Seth MacFarlane, deems comical.
For example, the way the bear’s characteristics easily mimic those of a human are well portrayed. There are several scenes that one is used to seeing in movies, but in this movie these scenes are cleverly chosen in that they now include a talking bear.
Instead of being unphased by the usual setup, you begin to ask questions like, ‘do these people in the convenience store notice that their teller is a talking teddy bear, or is this being filmed in a parallel universe where this is normal?’ The teddy bear also has his own domestic problems to deal with. These, I think, are subjects that could have helped fatten the story up more. As humans, we like to see more portrayals of ourselves through the eyes of other creatures, rather than to sit through long court scenes fighting the plight of a teddy bear.
And, especially in this day and age, do you really need to poke fun at black people over and over again just to get a laugh? For a movie with a US$20 million budget, I can not help but wonder what good reason they had for being so cheap. What is his excuse here? I think Seth MacFalrlane’s reputation for hilariously dark humour fuelled his creative process more than his good sense to make this movie enjoyable to more than one demographic. Instead of crafting a movie that would make us scream with laughter with no remorse, we have a cocky (no pun intended) farce, where the skill is thrown into the trash and exploitation is offered as comedy (sic).
But perhaps I did it wrong; perhaps I had to have been drunk before entering the cinema. Maybe then, when my cognitive abilities had been dampened, would I have been able to slur a few remarks of approval in between drunken chuckles. I doubt this. I probably would have just fallen asleep. Either way, all this sequel can really do is waste another two hours of your precious life.