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TED 2

SYNOPSIS: Newlywed couple Ted (voice of Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted has to prove he's a person in a court of law. Ted's best friend John (Mark Wahlberg) gets the help of a pot-smoking trainee lawyer (Amanda Siegfried) but it seems they need the additional expertise of top-gun civil rights lawyer (Morgan Freeman).

Review by Louise Keller:
Seems like the bear is over-stuffed this time around, with a drawn out sequel that struggles to juggle the elements of buddy movie, romance, social justice, offensive comedy and a tribute to Hollywood musicals. While the relationship between Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted remains the glue that keeps it all together, the overly crass material falls flat, the social justice issue feels contrived, the relationship between Ted and bride claws and the film drags. It’s a pity, because everybody loves a bear.

The film begins with frills and flounces as Ted's wedding to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) takes place. I love the sequence that follows, beginning with a Hollywood-style top hat and tails dance routine on a three-tier wedding cake and ending with synchronized legs and white chiffon on a dance floor. One year later, when Ted and Tami Lynn's marriage is on the rocks: yelling and throwing things is played for cheap laughs. We don't believe in the relationship and as a consequence don't care whether or not it succeeds. So the idea to have a baby to potentially solve all their problems never sits comfortably, apart from offering sperm joke opportunities and off the wall scenarios including trying to 'procure' sperm secretly from a suitable hunk while he is asleep in his bed. (Ted is dressed up in a yellow raincoat and Paddington Bear hat in this scene, by the way.)

For some inexplicable reason, we can believe in the relationship between Ted and John (Walhberg) - there is a sprinkling of magic between these 'Thunder Buddies for life'; the repartee, however crass, seems to work on some level. What's crass is ultra crass - nothing is off limits and the politically incorrect humour includes throwing apples at joggers and bad taste improve comedy in which 9/11, Charlie Hebdo and Bill Cosby get a serve. The media spoof is fine and there are moments here and there that are amusing, risky or at least out-there.

The civil rights issue in which MacFarlane has concocted a plot strand in which Ted has to prove he is a person and not property is quite clever and might have worked better had there not been so much other script clutter. Watch out for Morgan Freeman as the New York lawyer hotshot who is asked to help.

Amanda Siegfried's pot-smoking trainee lawyer is a sweet addition to the cast and the scene in which she sings under the full moon with guitar, while the local animals are mesmerized, is charming. And I love Liam Neeson's cameo when he buys a packet of children's breakfast cereal. Giovanni Ribisi is also rather good as the curly-top janitor with a strange expression, who wants a teddy of his own. The colourful, crazy ComicCon sequence when all the characters (literally) bump into each other is a madhouse. That's when Ribisi (as Raphael Ninja Turtle) tries to kidnap Ted to check out his stuffing. If MacFarlane had checked the stuffing, he might have noticed it is overloaded.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TED 2 (MA15+)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Giovani Ribisi, Morgan Freeman

PRODUCER: Jason Clark, John Jacobs, Seth MacFarlane, Scott Stuber

DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane

SCRIPT: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Barrett

EDITOR: Jeff Freeman

MUSIC: Walter Murphy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stephen J. Lineweaver

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 25, 2015







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