Tuesday, July 14, 2015

'Ted 2' Reminds Me That I'm Not Really a Fan of Seth McFarlane's Humor

Though I occasionally watched Family Guy and find Stewie Griffen an interesting character, I’ve never been a fan of the show nor of Seth McFarlane.  Yes, some of McFarlane’s jokes were funny.  But in every five jokes delivered, only one made me burst out laughing, one induces just a chuckle, two I find distasteful, and one was quite unfunny.  However, I enjoyed the first Ted movie.  I considered it as the most hilarious movie of 2012.  There’s something about Seth McFarlane’s brand of humor embodied in an adorable stuffed teddy bear that worked very, very well.  So Ted 2 is one of the 2015 movies I was looking forward to.  I was curious if McFarlane can pull it off again.

In Ted 2, John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) has been divorced for six months from Lori, whom he had married at the end of the first movie.  On the other hand, Ted (Seth McFarlane) marries his girlfriend Tami-Lyn (Jessica Barth) and they decide to have a baby.  However, a serious complication arises when the couple attempts to adopt and it is revealed that it won’t be possible since, in the eyes of the law, Ted is not a person but mere property.  Pissed, Ted and John seek the help of rookie lawyer Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to establish Ted’s personhood on court.

I find the first Ted movie much funnier.  Ted 2’s comedy completely relied on being stupid, offensive, and disgusting.  To be fair, that was to be expected.  Still, the first Ted movie really has more clever comedic content, better comedic timing, and better comedic delivery overall.  Ted 2 just decided to go with the infamous McFarlane brand of humor without trying to be creative about it.

That said, there were still parts that made me laugh robustly.  The jokes that worked really worked well.  My most favorite scene was when John and Ted went to watch an improv comedy show and yelled out awesomely inappropriate suggestions.  That was a comedic masterwork.  However, most of the time it’s all stoner and crude humor, or jokes that I didn’t get, like that part with Liam Neeson and a Trix cereal.

Yep, Liam Neeson.  Sorry, if that’s a spoiler.  But this movie has a surprising number of cameos.  Liam Neeson is just one of them.  Seriously, there was a lot.  I guess many Hollywood people like Seth McFarlane that he got them to appear in this movie.

Another surprising detail in this movie was the decision to add musical numbers in this movie.  They felt okay at first, but as these songs progressed, they felt out of place in the end.

As for the story – well, I never really expect that this movie to be smart.  Still, the whole “Ted fighting for personhood” aspect actually gave the movie a chance to have some depth.  Unfortunately, the story failed to tap into this.  The resolution of the conflict was anti-climactic, the narrative was lazy, and the plot lacked common sense.

Ted 2’s only upgrade from the first movie is Amanda Seyfried, who is hands down better than Mila Kunis.  Aside from that, Ted 2 fails to top or even match its predecessor.  This simply shows that the first Ted movie is just a manifestation of McFarlane’s 1:4 odds of succeeding in comedy.

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