Ted * * * 1/2

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Director: Seth MacFarlane.
Screenplay: Seth MacFarlane.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Joel McHale, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth, Bill Smitrovich, Bretton Manley, Sam J. Jones, Norah Jones, Tom Skerritt, Ted Danson, Ryan Reynolds.
Narrator: Patrick Stewart.

After many years of success with the hilarious animated sitcom “Family Guy“, it’s creator Seth MacFarlane finally ventures into his first feature film. It shares little in common with the aforementioned show except the same brand of lewd and crude humour, so any familiarity with that show will stand you in good stead in what to expect from this.

When John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) was 8 years-old he wished that his beloved stuffed bear would actually come to life and never leave his side. One stormy night, his wish comes true and Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) transforms into an actual walking, talking, bear. 25 years later though, John isn’t really moving on his life and his lifelong friend is getting in the way of John’s relationship with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis). Decisions have to be made, which could separate their childhood attachment forever.

Now let’s be honest on this one and face the facts straight up; without the gimmick of a weed-toking, talking, teddy bear this film wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it is. The profanity of it’s cuddly protagonist is the very basis on which this film relies on it’s entertainment and for the most part, it works. The jokes don’t always hit the mark but on occasion it delivers some outrageously hilarious moments. MacFarlane seems to be aware, that the more you keep up a rapid fire of jokes the higher the likelihood of some of them sticking. He delivers a relentless fighting scene that will bring reminders of the long-winded dual with the chicken in recurring “Family Guy” episodes and the rest of the film is peppered with in-jokes to films and popular culture of the past, as well as incorporating “Flash Gordon” star Sam Jones in quite a prominent role that’s filled with self parody. Some of these jokes will be wasted on younger viewers or anyone unfamiliar with MacFarlane’s TV show but one thing’s for sure, the same brand of risqué humour can certainly be relied upon and the bonus of it coming in the form of an innocent, cuddly looking, teddy bear make it all the better.
The only drawback, is it’s stumble towards it’s conclusion where it succumbs to formula and loses it’s way slightly but it’s the performers that keep it consistently entertaining; Wahlberg is an actor I find it hard to warm to but he delivers some fine comedic work here and the always reliable Giovanni Ribisi adds just the right amount of darkness to the proceedings. Ultimately though, the star of the show is MacFarlane. His voice talents really bring Ted to life and his controversial and observational humour is ever present and welcome.

I wouldn’t go as far to call it comic genius but it’s certainly a lot of fun. Like it’s title character, embrace it and it’ll bring comforting rewards.

Mark Walker

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27 Responses to “Ted * * * 1/2”

  1. Oh, I’ll check that out, then.

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  2. Loved everything about TED, funniest film I have seen in years. Easily a 9/10 for me.

    Nice write up Mark 🙂

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  3. Loved the Flash/Ming material. Really brought back a few memories from childhood. I’m a huge Family Guy fan and I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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    • I wasn’t expecting much either but I was entertained for an hour and a half and there’s not much more you can ask than that. The Flash material was great though wasn’t it? 🙂

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  4. Solid review. Still this is a movie I don’t see myself catching up with. But who knows, maybe down the road…

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  5. Good review Mark. The idea of having a talking teddy bear, smoking pot and boning hookers, seems totally stupid but that’s just the point here! Everything is so stupid and raunchy, but MacFarlane puts his own, little witty spin on it that made me laugh more than I expected.

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  6. Great review man. I really enjoyed Ted but I’m not much of a fan of Family Guy and the humor is very much that style so after a while some of the jokes got old to me. Still though, very solid film.

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    • Cheers Ryan. A lot of jokes didn’t work for me but i have to admit that there were moments were i was laughing uncontrollably. I’ve not had that from a comedy film for a while so something certainly worked for me.

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  7. Absolutely spot on with this one Mark. I thought it had some really funny moments but had a fair few moments where jokes just didn’t hit the mark. Entertaining enough but I did find myself laughing out all that often.

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    • Cheers Chris. Yeah, I was happy enough throughout but I was more smiling than knotting myself. However, once a good laugh came, it really got hold of me. It wasn’t a laugh-fest by any means but pleasant enough to pass an hour and a half.

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  8. Yeah, you pegged this one man. “The only drawback, is it’s stumble towards it’s conclusion where it succumbs to formula and loses it’s way slightly” exactly.

    I enjoyed it, it was funny, I laughed. But with such a funny “gimmick”, I do wish they could have found a more solid story to surround it in and elevated the movie to a higher place you know? 😦

    Still fun though. Nice review. Spot on.

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    • Cheers Fogs! I liked it (and in some cases a lot) but it does veer down the road of formula and at one point becomes a bit… Meh! But I still can’t deny gutting myself with laughter at bits. Not entirely successful but fun nonetheless.

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  9. Well said, I think I gave this one a 7.5 so more or less the same. I was incredibly surprised with how well MacFarlane’s style translated to actual actors, but from my point of view it was Kunis and Wahlberg’s chemistry that surprised me the most.

    In any case, nothing life changing but still probably my favorite comedy of the year. Good review 🙂

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    • Fi can’t think of that many other comedies I’ve seen this year Andy but this was certainly decent entertainment. If “Ruby Sparks” classes as one then I’d say that’s mine so far. I just wonder if Ted would hold up on another viewing?

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  10. Nice review Mark. I have never really gotten into Family Guy, but really liked this film. I think 2012 has been a relatively good year for comedy, compared to last year which I thought was dire.

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    • Thanks man. I’ve not seen that many comedies this year I have to admit. I find really good ones hard to come by. Theyre much like finding a good horror these days. Still, I enjoyed Ted. It provided enough laughs to keep me going.

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  11. Nice review. This was fun but I expected it to be funnier. Ribisi was the highlight for me.

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