Overview: When Ted and his wife (yes, this is a comedy actually built around the idea of a possessed toy having a wife; just go with it) decide to adopt a child, they run into a roadblock, when they discover that Ted is not legally considered a “person.” Cue a big, weird courtroom movie about a plush, teddy bear fighting for equality among any, and all, sentient beings. Universal Pictures; 2015; Rated R; 115 Minutes.
Ad Nauseam: If you go into Ted 2 expecting anything more than vulgar, sophomoric, offensive jokes, then honestly, the problem is with you as a viewer. Ted 2 isn’t revolutionary in any way, offering up the same stale gags that we’ve seen before from writer and director Seth MacFarlane, ad nauseam. As usual, MacFarlane isn’t necessarily, or even consistently, funny, but when his jokes land, he nails his scripted beats, and hits it straight out of the park, as he did (for the most part) with Ted. So it is with Ted 2.
Sophomore Slump: As far as plot goes (apart from some of the courtroom drama) Ted 2 is essentially a carbon copy of Ted. The same love interest side-story, the same climactic moments, and, hell, even the same villain. The difference is that in Ted 2, the novelty has worn off. It’s not enough that a stuffed bear is smoking weed and telling dirty jokes. Now those jokes have to be clever, or at least gross enough to catch us off guard.
Bad Chemistry: In Ted 2, Mark Wahlberg sells his friendship with Ted off just about as strongly as he does in the first film, which is a blessing, as no matter how cynical you are regarding this comedy franchise, it’s hard to deny that its core appeal is built around a genuine, loving relationship between a man and his teddy bear. Ted was strong because Ted and John’s friendship was always at its center. Unfortunately, Ted 2 loses sight of that friendship for a while, and gets too caught up in the logistics of its overarching Law & Order, cookie-cutter plot-line, which is where the film falters the most. In her role as Ted’s lawyer and John’s love interest, Amanda Seyfried is fine, but she lacks the immediate charm and chemistry established between Wahlberg and Mila Kunis in the first film (not to mention the fraternal energy held between John and Ted). Kunis’ absence this time around is deeply felt, and maybe it’s just because I’m a big fan of Mila Kunis, but I just never got past it.
Overall: While every joke doesn’t hit, and the plot is recycled straight from the first film, there’s no denying that beneath all of the vulgarity, love and friendship is fueling Ted 2, just as it did in Ted. If you liked Ted, you’ll probably like Ted 2; if you’re looking for anything deeper than Mark Wahlberg covered in semen, then you’re probably not going to enjoy this film. If all of the above sounds just fine with you… well…don’t say we didn’t warn you.