Ted 2 – Romancing the Stoner

What up, Buttercups?

I saw Ted 2 when it was in cinemas way back in 2015. I saw it as part of a date and night out with my then girlfriend.

My first impression of the film was that it was an unnecessary sequel. The original Ted was almost an adult version of Toy story. What happens when the kid grows up and so does the toy?

It was interesting and this was back during a time when Family Guy, American Dad and, by extension, Seth MacFarlane could do no wrong.

Ted 2 is part of the fall of Seth MacFarlane. It came a year after A million Ways to Die in the West; which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly pure gold and Ted 2 follows in that vein.

I rewatched it before writing this and the first thing that struck me was the entire unnecessary dance number right at the beginning for the opening credits.

From there the rest of the film is almost a set of loosely connected skits and cameos before we get to about the halfway mark where it feels like someone finally asked: what’s the actual story? Whereas Ted had a fairly well put together story that had well-placed comedic moments that fed into the plot and enhanced the story.

Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) wants to adopt a child with his wife but can’t because he is a living teddy bear and has no rights because he’s technically property. This means that he and his newly divorced best friend John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) need to go to court to get him his rights back.

They are joined by their lawyer Sam L Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) who loves to get stoned but is completely oblivious to their pop culture references.

The best part of the entire film for me is Sam’s rendition of Mean Ole Moon in the middle of a field after Ted crashes the car into a barn. Considering she was in Mamma Mia I’d completely forgotten she could sing. It’s a beautiful mellow moment after all the jokes about a dick shaped bong and a rip off of Jurassic park where, instead of dinosaurs, they stumble across a field of pot. Ted reciting the line “They do move in herds.”

There are cameos aplenty; Sam Jones, Tom Brady, Liam Neeson, Jay Leno. All of whom are the centre of a little one-off joke that does little to further the plot. There’s also a bizarre music video segment in the middle of the film that feels much like an homage to the Breakfast Club and Seth MacFarlane’s known love for EVERYTHING from the 80s.

The humour in the film comes in a few different flavours:

1) Gross out (John getting covered in jizz at a fertility clinic).

2) Ridiculously, stupidly offensive (See the first courtroom scene where Ted likens himself to the “fags” before changing it to “homos”).

3) Pop culture references that Sam doesn’t get (mostly jokes about the size of Amanda Seyfried’s eyes – Like we didn’t get enough of that in a Million Ways to Die in the West – and Gollum references).

4) Stoner humour (mostly in the vein of funny names for various blends of pot and the effects they have).

There are a few meta moments. My favourite is Guy (Patrick Warburton) at Comic Con dressed as The Tic – a reference to him being playing the character earlier in his career.

Considering the film deals with big themes of humanity and civil rights, so much of the writing in the film feels lazy. There are jokes that seem to have been yanked straight out of rejected Family Guy episodes. They bear (pun intended) the same fingerprint as any Pete Griffin story from the show.

Maybe that’s another meta riff to follow up on a throw away joke fropm the first film that Ted’s voice sounds like Peter Griffin but if so it’s poorly executed.

And yet…

And yet.

I still enjoyed this film.

After all that you might think I hate it. I don’t. It’s an enjoyable film if you just want to get a little drunk and turn your mind off. Maybe it helped that I was drunk when I rewatched it but it was enjoyable enough that I wasn’t actively throwing my head back and wishing God would make it stop. It will never be in my top ten list of films… but it’s also not a film I’d turn over if I found out it was on.

RTJ

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