If you were just as tedious and obnoxious as the first film, I’d almost give you a pass. But instead you’re a film that feels like it’s trying. And in failing so miserably, in attempting to be “relevant” or “poignant” while still getting away with race-bait joke and buckets of cum drenching Marky Mark, you become more than just a terrible movie. You become a war crime of cinema, something that makes one feel like their soul is being damaged just a little bit by having to suffer through this drivel.
I should have expected nothing less, yet had an inkling of hope, thinking that something approaching the relevant could be made about a bear that wants to be a person. It’s as if Pinocchio was going to the courts to determine his personhood, except that that would be a story less wooden.
You’ve got oodles of cameos of course, including a particularly painful one with Tom Brady complete with awkward deflategate joke ADRd in. There’s a dancing sequence that goes on too long, clearly there so that MacFarlane could say he’s shot one. There’s jokes about nerds, about slavery, about 9/11 and the Charlie Hebdo murders. Yet the most shocking thing of all is that these all flounder.
So, yes, we lose a Kunis and gain a Seyfried, and bless her, Amanda gives it her all. Wahlberg seems even more a sidekick this time ‘round, trying desperately to inject some likability in his dour and redundant character. Meanwhile, Giovanni Ribisi is back and is even more obnoxious this time ‘round, less Travis Bickle and more just plain tedium.
To be charitable, there are two amusing jokes that stick – one about Morgan Freeman’s voice, and one about the fact that, yes, Amanda Seyfried, as delightful as she is, does have a passing resemblance to a certain corrupted Stoorish Hobbit lost under the Misty Mountains. Yet this joke is repeated three times in different guises, wringing the life out of it in a way well in keeping with much of the rest of the flick. You’d think it’d get funnier as it went along (“rule of three” and all), but, no, it just reminds that what was once funny is now simply appalling.
So, yes, Ted 2 is fetid. But maybe, under all that stuffing, there’s a kernel of a comedy that could do something interesting, something approaching a Blazing Saddles-like mix of the silly and the sophisticated. You could do the courtroom drama and medical drama and relationship drama and have it all come together, but not under this direction, not with this kind of storytelling. Instead you’re left wondering why a group that seem to watch lots of Law and Order (and sing the theme song) have an appeal based seemingly on no other legal ground than it’d be fun to have Morgan Freeman deliver a closing argument.
If it was just bad it would be forgettable, but it’s worse than that – it’s something that has a modicum of a chance to be superior to the original, to stake out new ground and really make something great. Instead, it shits the bed.
So, Ted 2, fuck you. Fuck you very much.