Film Review – Ted
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Screenplay: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Welllesely Wild
Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Mark Walhberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine Four
Rating: ***** (out of 10)
From the creator of ‘Family Guy’ and the ‘Cleveland Brown Show, Seth MacFarlane comes with the story of Ted. Ted tells the story of young John Bennett (who grows up to be Mark Wahlberg), who had trouble fitting in as a kid, made a wish on Christmas Day for his teddy bear to come to life. His wish comes true and Ted (Seth MacFarlane) becomes a celebrity, even appearing on Rolling Stones magazine.
MacFarlane has taken his love of cartoon characters who shouldn’t behave like humans but do, to another level and has given us a story of growing up at the age of 35. The film portrays the typical bromance before romance notion that romance should not come in between a good friendship no matter what. MacFarlane and Wahlberg show us just that. The two have been weed smoking, irresponsible best friends for twenty-seven years and then their friendship is put to the test when John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) wants more of their four-year relationship. She just does not get their unusual friendship and her concerns are worsened when Ted jumps into bed with her and John during a thunder storm. When Ted and John are scared of thunder they sing a song that helps them deal with their fears and even call themselves the ‘thunder buddies’.
After having had enough of John’s frivolous approach to life, Lori puts her foot down and tells John to ask Ted to move out. It is either she or the bear. However that does not stop the two best buds from hanging out every day and this even results in John lying to his boss about Lori’s involvement in a real dog fight just so he can leave the office to spend time with his foul-mouthed friend watching their all-time favourite shows. John is a slacker but Lori thinks that he has a good heart and doesn’t mind that she has a better job than he does.
The film starts out promising and engages the audience, but as Ted grows from being the lovable cuddly bear that he is supposed to be to the weed smoking, prostitute dating and lazy teddy bear, the film gets to be unbearable. The humor in this film is vulgar, and almost all the jokes are about drugs, getting drunk and stereo types.
MacFarlane did a bad job with the physical fight scene between the two friends. A verbal fight with emotional depth would have given the film more credit, as the fight between the two looks even more unreal than it really is. How does a teddy bear punch a fully grown man to the ground?
Ted is the strongest character in the movie and delivers some pretty funny yet offensive lines. My favorite is when he says, “Somewhere out there are four fathers that I need to thank for not doing their jobs as fathers” when he is surrounded by four prostitutes giving him the attention that he wants by allowing to rub his paws on their bodies. MacFarlane does a good job at playing Ted. He brings in his trademark Seth MacFarlane jokes and some expansion to his comedy repertoire and manages to give the audience a live action film instead of an animation.
A strange character in the film is Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), who kidnaps Ted so he can give him to his spoilt, obese son. Ribisi’s character is more weird than he is funny and his scenes are unnecessary and contributes to make the film boring. However the film does have an emotional aspect to it at the end, after Ted is torn in half by Donny and loses his magic. Lori and John rush home to sew him back together. When he does not come back to life a heart broken John and Lori go to bed and she wakes up in the middle of the night, making a wish on a shooting star and Ted comes back to life the following morning. The best buddies are reunited. Ted is as engaging as he is funny but at the same time, ridiculous. The movie is not suitable for kids but only for a mature audience that has no problem with jokes on stereo types and swearing. It is definitely not the best movie of the year.
Yet, fans of MacFarlane and Family Guy should enjoy this movie. It is a funny film with a simple story line.