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TED 2

TED TALKS - SHOULD WE LISTEN?

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By Brent Davidson
24th June 2015
In 2012, we were first introduced to Seth MacFarlane’s seemingly adorable teddy bear Ted. So adorable in fact, my then 11-year-old brother, in true 11-year-old style, convinced my grandmother (yes grandmother) to take him to the film. I’m sure he told her in his most innocent of voices it was “about a bear that comes to life and goes on an adventure.” Not so far-fetched, right? I mean, look at ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Soldiers’ - hell, even ‘The Indian in the Cupboard.’ I would have been convinced! Unfortunately granny was left shocked and appalled, and guess what? Now Ted is back to do it all again.

‘Ted 2’ picks up a little after its predecessor, starting with Ted’s marriage, and spiralling into what ends up being a courtroom drama regarding his status as either a person or property. Let’s be honest though - no one is watching this film for the plot. There are gags and hijinks aplenty along the way, and hopefully that's enough.

SWITCH: 'TED 2' TRAILER D

I have always regarded Seth MacFarlane as a master of the short format. I am a huge fan of ‘Family Guy’ and ‘American Dad’; don’t get me wrong this guy knows what he’s doing, in short doses. It pains me to say this but giving him almost two hours tends to see the jokes falling flat, normally around the 45 minute mark. If you don’t know what I mean, try and remember the black spot filled with funny cat videos you made in your memory for ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West.’ This is the thing with long and short formats: people are far more forgiving for the latter.

When we see a film, even if it’s a bit of a dumb buddy - sorry, “Thunder Buddy” - comedy, there's usually something the film has to say. Whether it be social commentary or a bit of a heartfelt message, something is expected. What ‘Ted 2’ definitely didn’t have was either. There is a strained theme of persecution and infringement towards minorities - you know, “Teddy bears are people too” - but who are they trying to highlight? If anything, this film is an uneasy combination of homophobic, racist and sexist, none of which felt comfortable. All of this probably comes down to direction and again this is with MacFarlane: writer, director and voice actor. It’s all getting a little too ‘Dances With Wolves’ for me, and is falling far flatter. Some scenes reminiscent of a 1930s film musical and a campfire sing-along are clunky, and definitely ways the director has put a "stamp" on it, regardless of how out of place they are.

There is just something that doesn’t work about ‘Ted 2’.

There is just something that doesn’t work about ‘Ted 2’. Maybe it's all of the dick jokes, but I’d say it's more the uncomfortable humour. I know you’ll all say that is what made him famous and what was I expecting. But really, if he can pull off a near-perfect 24 minutes, I’m sure he’s smart enough for a whole film. The stars he has in it alone might be enough to make any other blockbuster, but it leaves you wondering if they really just wanted the money or read the script and thought it'd be a great idea. It’s a "leave your brain at the door" comedy... actually maybe "get stoned then leave your brain at the door"... oh, and be a straight white male and then you might just enjoy 'Ted 2'.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 25/06/2015
RUN TIME: 1h 55m
CAST: Mark Wahlberg
Seth Macfarlane
Amanda Seyfried
Morgan Freeman
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Seth Macfarlane
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