So wanted to like this film …
Following the gigantic success of Ted (2012) Universal was keen to get a sequel into production and here it is. Seth MacFarlane returns to direct, co-write and provide the voice for the bear. Mark Wahlberg also returns as best friend John and Jessica Barth as Tami-Lynn. When we join the film things seem to on the up for Ted as he’s getting married to Tami-Lynn although sadly for Paul his marriage to Lori (as played by Mila Kunis in the original film) has ended after six months and he’s feeling sorry for himself. Ted’s marriage runs into trouble so he decides that they should have a baby to bring them closer together. During their attempts to adopt a baby Ted’s person-hood is called into question and he goes to court with Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) as his lawyer to enforce his civil rights.
I don’t think you can go as far as to say that Ted 2 is an interesting social commentary on slavery and the ongoing war on drugs (and who it impacts) but these themes are present. The focus is on what is it to be human and the dangers of treating anyone as property. That being said the reality is people are going to watch this film to laugh so the big question is does it deliver? Well not really, it misses more times than it hits. Whereas Ted was riotous fun from start to finish the tone was set for me when the first two ‘jokes’ were met with silence in the movie theatre. It did pick up from there and there are some laugh out loud moments including a sequence when John is going to donate sperm and something unspeakable happens when in a lab. There’s a fun reference to Jurassic Park (1993) and a quick scene when they go to an improvised comedy show to shout out inappropriate suggestions. Unfortunately at the same time there is a running joke about never being more than two clicks away on the Internet from black cocks and a gay couple who go around New York Comic Con tripping up ‘nerds’.
My working theory is that MacFarlane didn’t want to make this film but the cheque he was offered was too large to turn down. I say this because Ted 2 lacks any drive or energy. The story meanders from scene to scene and feels lazy as if little effort was put into the editing and everyone involved just wanted to get it finished and move onto the next project. MacFarlane and Wahlberg were everywhere when the original film came out as I suspect the Studio new they had a hit on their hands. It felt a lot more subdued this time and that should have been the first red flag. I remain a Seth MacFarlane fan and I enjoyed A Million Ways to die in the West (2014) but I’m worried that two misses in a row is going to hurt his chances of bringing us another film. When he’s passionate about a project he produces good work so fingers crossed he has another great idea. My rating 2/5.