In 2012, a cute, foulmouthed teddy bear – that for all intents and purposes was human, only smaller and hairier – and his “thunder buddy” were the talk of the town. In the States Ted, co-written and directed by and featuring the voice talent of Seth McFarlane alongside Mark Wahlberg as John became the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Now the pair is back, older but not necessarily wiser.
The sequel is all about the quest to legalise Ted. John and Ted are still living in Boston. John has since divorced his wife, while Ted has settled down with Tami-Lynn, the trashy woman of his dreams. Their marriage is going through stormy waters when Ted determines that having a baby could help solve their problems. But that is when the trouble really begins. Their hopes of starting a family are crushed when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declares Ted to be not a person, rather property and therefore ineligible to adopt. He is fired from his job at the grocery store and told his union has been annulled. Angry and dejected, Ted and John engage the services of Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), a marijuana-smoking young lawyer just cutting her teeth to fight for what they know to be fair.
Also starring Morgan Freeman as a legendary civil rights lawyer, adventures abound as they set out to prove that Ted is not just a beer-swilling, pot infused stuffed teddy bear. Rather, he is a person who deserves the same rights and freedoms as any other low life. And, in a sub-plot, Donny, the slippery character played by Giovanni Ribisi three years ago, is out to seek revenge.
Importantly, the same writing team responsible for the first instalment got together for the second. The irreverence that so endeared Ted to an audience first up is back. Again, he is so inappropriate, although perhaps not as shockingly so as I recollect he was in the original. Or, perhaps it is just that I am more inured to his antics by now. Actually, some of the most shock-worthy (or should that be schlock-worthy or downright cruel) sight gags in this one go to a couple of bit players, a gay couple that attend Ted’s wedding and then pop up again at Comic Con in New York.
As with the initial instalment, some gags and scenes clearly work better than others and there are a series of flat patches, where I felt the editing desperately needed tightening. Still, you are constantly hanging out for the laugh out loud moments and, rest assured, there are a few, as there are cameos from the likes of Liam Neeson and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Unfortunately though Ted 2 drags the chain. It just goes on and on. A tight 90 minutes would have been far more endearing rather than stretching friendships to almost two hours.
The original had ba-ba-ba-boom. This merely has a bit of zing.
Rated MA, it scores a 6½ out of 10.
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried and Morgan Freeman
Release Date: 25 June 2015
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television