I haven’t wanted to walk out a movie so badly since last summer’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” also written/directed/starring Seth MacFarlane. If “Ted 2” doesn’t make my top 5 Worst Films of the Year in December, I’m going to be horrified. Lazy, pandering, boring, unbearably long, and excruciatingly unfunny, “Ted 2” is a complete waste of time and money.
It’s apparent before the opening title sequence that the film is in trouble. Set at Ted and Tami Lynn’s wedding, we are subjected to a rapid fire series of one-liners and sight gags, none of which are amusing. The best part of the film is the opening title sequence, an energetic dance number which suggests that perhaps the prologue was working out the kinks and maybe the actual film won’t be as clunky. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
We jump forward a year later, where their marriage has left the honeymoon stage, where they now engage in violent arguments over finances. Ted is at the table, drunk, calling her a slew of names before throwing the table towards his wife. You know – the stuff of comedy! Having your lead call his spouse a whore is the perfect way to get your audience to side with your protagonist. It’s decided that the way to save their marriage is to have a child together (counseling might have been better), but the problem is that Ted has no penis. Hilarious. So after a couple attempts at trying to find a sperm donor, they decide to adopt, which raises red flags regarding Ted’s citizenship, resulting in employment termination, his marriage being annulled, and a legal battle over whether or not he’s property.
Amanda Seyfried joins the cast as Ted’s lawyer and love interest for Wahlberg. You see, we learn that Lori (Mila Kunis in the first film) divorced John six months ago, who states that she tried to change him, and it’s easy to side with her. He’s unambitious, ignorant, and obnoxious. There’s a running gag regarding Seyfried’s eyes. The first time, I laughed, then by the third time, I just felt sorry for the actress.
I was a huge fan of the first film. It was a valid commentary on a generation that refuses to grow up; about knowing when to hold on and when to let go and how this stifles relationships with those around us. It’s still brutally honest, touching, consistently funny and oftentimes brilliant. The only positive aspect of the original that the sequel repeats is the CGI effect of Ted himself; they are seamless, making him feel authentic and a true lead character; the attention to detail on the wear and tear of his body are a joy to behold. Not a joy to behold, however, is Giovanni Ribisi, reprising his role that was the weakest part of the original. This time, we see him as a janitor for Hasbro, where he concocts a plan to kidnap Ted so the head of the company can open him up to see what makes him tick, with the hopes of replicating the magic of Ted for millions of children around the world. It’s a subplot that – like the original – is forced into the story, creating an artificial sense of tension and ultimately goes nowhere. The climax is a chase sequence at the NY Comic-Con, where Guy (returnee Patrick Warburton) and his new partner, Michael Dorn, abuse the attendees, pushing them down and knocking over items in their hand. It’s an unnecessary moment which mocks the very people who have supported Seth MacFarlane throughout the years. This is how they’re represented.
After the first “Ted,” I was really hoping that MacFarlane would become a reliable film director, but after the atrocious “Million Ways to Die in the West,” and now this, he just seems lost, and what’s worse, the writing is becoming more and more mean spirited. Under the vulgar jokes in the first Ted, there was a big heart, but now it’s gone. His sequel doesn’t walk that fine line, it’s leaps right into malice, which makes for a very uncomfortable 115 minutes. I honestly don’t know who will find this film funny. Teenagers? I hope even they will have the intellect to shake their heads in embarrassment. I witnessed a grown man with his friends a couple weeks ago standing outside a bar late one night asking people to punch him. He’ll probably enjoy this.