The simplest way to describe Ted 2 is something along the lines of “it is what it is.”
If you liked the first Ted (or any of Seth MacFarlane’s mountain of crude comedy output), you’ll probably like this one. It’s pretty much just more of the same, which is really all it needs to be. So many jokes are flung against the wall during the two hour race to the credits that at least a few can’t help but stick. There’s no real point to the flick beyond giggling at inappropriateness and as long as you aren’t expecting anything else, that’ll do.
Things kick off with MacFarlane’s CGI teddy marrying his beloved check out girl Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). No one seems to think that’s strange and it all works out until a few months later when they are both screaming at each other like any discontented couple. To save the marriage, they decide to have a kid (always the healthiest starting point for parenthood). The only trouble is that he’s a stuffed bear lacking anything resembling genitalia, so it’s tricky. Along with Ted’s now single buddy Mark Wahlberg, there are attempts to steal the semen of a sports star and an unfortunately gooey trip to the sperm bank. Then after those suckers don’t work out, Ted and his beloved decide to adopt and that leads to the state declaring that Ted is property and not a person. So Wahlberg and Ted team up with an attractive young stoner lawyer (Amanda Seyfried) to plead Ted’s case in court and have him declared a person. That leads to a road trip, an adventure at Comic-Con, a gratuitous Morgan Freeman cameo, and way too many sincere speeches about the nature of what it means to be human. Thankfully there are also a variety of f-bombs, weed jokes, ironic celebrity cameos, and pop culture references along the way. Those things are really the only purpose of this movie or any Seth MacFarlane joint for that matter.
If you were to dare to take this sequel about a foul-mouthed stoner teddybear even remotely seriously, it would be pretty easy to dismiss it outright as useless trash. That’s pointless though. MacFarlane and his writing team create joke factories. Sure the movies and cartoons have plots and characters and arcs and morals, but only because those conventions are required to release a TV series or movie commercially. Really, the plots are just an excuse for MacFarlane and his various writing rooms to get together and spitball as many jokes as they can cram into the project. Usually they rely on either pop culture references, something offensive, a swear word, or a celebrity. You either find that stuff funny or you don’t.
Pretty well all of the big jokes from the original Ted get a call back and the hit-to-miss ratio of the gags is about as high as the last one. The plot probably wanders down a few more dead ends this time, but at least the entire third act isn’t a total write off, so that’s a mild improvement. Call Ted 2 a guilty pleasure if you wish, but it definitely crams in the most jokes of any movie released this summer and if those jokes line up with your sense of humor, it’ll also qualify as the funniest movie of the summer thus far. At this point you know if Ted 2 or Seth MacFarlane are for you before even buying a ticket. There will be no one swayed. Either show up and giggle at the stupid bear or stay home. You already know what you’re in for and there’s something to be said for giving pop culture obsessed potheads what they want (or at least there’s a substantial amount of money to be made from doing that).
With Ted 2 being one of Universal’s big ol’ summer comedies, it’s been treated very well in its transfer to Blu-ray. Colors are vibrant and details are rich in the transfer that looks glorious, while the sound offers great depth and clarity (particularly during the tacked on musical numbers). Of course, that doesn’t matter much now does it?. Sure, it’s nice to own Ted 2 in optimal quality, but it doesn’t make any of the jokes funnier. It just makes them harder to ignore when the fumble.
Extras wise, we’re first treated to a 10 minute longer Unrated cut, which to be honest only really adds length. Macfarlane movies might be naughty, but never so much that they get annihilated by the MPAA. He’s a tasteful filth monger. The ultimate proof that they’ve crammed everything possible into the extended cut comes in the delete scenes section, which contains little more than 7 less-than-a-minute long trims. Aside from that, you’ll get brief featurettes on the production, the Comic-Con recreation, the road trip, and the cameos. Amusingly, the longest featurette is about the superfluous opening music number, showing just how much MacFarlane is obsessed with old-timey musicals. Added together, all the featurettes would make a decent 45-minute long making of doc. Why the Blu-ray producers didn’t just present it all as one piece is beyond me.
By far the best special feature is an audio commentary with Macfarlane, his co-writers Alex Sulkin/Wellesley Wild, and co-star Jessica Barth. It’s an infectiously funny chat amongst obvious friends that shows just how much fun was clearly had making this movie, regardless of the final results. Don’t expect many insights from the commentary, but the laughs are plentiful.
Does it deserve a spot on your Dork Shelf?
Some call it lowest common denominator and those snobs might have a point. But if seeing Liam Neeson debate the ramifications of buying Trix, a flood of bodily fluids being splattered on Mark Wahlberg, or a well timed F-bomb make you giggle, then buckle up because there’s some fun in store.
Overall, it makes for a pretty good disc as far as studio comedies go. There’s roughly an extra 3 hours of laughs provided along with Ted 2 and honestly, what more could you want when you buy a stoner teddy bear comedy on Blu-ray?
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