Did we need a sequel to Seth MacFarlane’s brazenly rude, flagrantly politically incorrect 2012 buddy comedy about a Boston slacker and his living teddy bear chum? Probably not, but given the first film’s humungous box-office success (over $549million), a follow-up film was more or less inevitable.
Ted 2 isn’t as funny as its predecessor, partly because the element of surprise is missing, but it still racks up an impressive tally of outrageous laughs. Mark Wahlberg is back as deadbeat stoner John and director/co-writer MacFarlane again voices the stuffed bear magically brought to life by John’s childhood wish.
The foul-mouthed Ted is now married to his brassy sweetheart, Tami-Lyn (Jessica Barth), but a year after their nuptials their relationship is on the rocks. In a less than half-assed bid to save the relationship, the couple try to adopt a baby, only for the authorities to step in and declare that Ted is ‘property’, not a person.
This leaves Ted jobless, his marriage annulled, so he and John seek help from Amanda Seyfried’s pot-smoking rookie lawyer, Samantha L Jackson, to challenge the state’s decision in court.
The legal wrangles that ensue are absurd, outrageous and surprisingly engaging. And along the way, MacFarlane and co make some socially progressive points – about civil rights and gay marriage, for example - but make sure to do so in the most shamelessly offensive manner possible. They also deliver a blizzard of gags.
The jokes are definitely hit and miss, and many of the US-centric cultural references – ranging from cryptic slang phrases for outré sexual acts to the appearance of legendary American football quarterback Tom Brady – will go straight over the heads of UK viewers, but there’s more than enough puerile fun here to keep fans of the first film satisfied. The gag likening Seyfried to Gollum is almost worth the ticket alone.
Certificate 15. Runtime 117 mins. Director Seth MacFarlane.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.