Movie Review: ‘Ted 2’ boasts dirty jokes, controversy in attempt at failed sequel
By Mike Sullivan | For Weekender
Who exactly is the audience for “Ted?” Adults incapable of owning a single article of clothing that doesn’t have a pot leaf somewhere on it? Perpetrators of misdemeanor hate crimes? That kid from that Chuck Palahniuk novel who got his ass stuck on a pool circulation pump? A Chuck Palahniuk novel? Well, whoever these people may be, I’m almost positive they won’t be seeing “Ted 2” in theaters mainly because their ankle monitors won’t be coming off until mid-November. But with that said, even our nation’s finest dirtbags and sex-creeps would find something to hate about “Ted 2” a film that feels like three not particularly good late period episodes of “Family Guy” awkwardly tethered together and beaten into a movie-like shape.
Do you like envelopes? Do you like to see them pushed? Well, good news brah, because “Ted 2” pushes all kinds of envelopes right into the letterbox of controversy that is America’s mind-brain. In fact, somebody should have taken Seth McFarlane aside and removed the envelope from his hands before he managed to push it too far, but nobody did. And because of this Marc Wahlberg managed to get a big glob of racially tinged semen in his mouth. Unlike the first film, which was a middling buddy comedy, “Ted 2” has important things to say.
In order to save his doomed marriage, Ted – the magical, foul-mouthed Teddy Bear (the human equivalent to Spencer’s Gifts, Seth McFarlane) – attempts to adopt a child but only manages to have his personhood called into question at the adoption agency.
From there, Ted fights a prolonged legal battle to reclaim his civil rights and be seen as more than ‘property’. Yes, if you couldn’t already guess, McFarlane, (along with fellow “Family Guy” hacks Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild) is actually equating the plight of African Americans and the gay community with a cartoon bear that makes tired “50 Shades of Grey” jokes in the voice of Peter Griffin.
On its own, this clueless stab at social commentary is merely just infuriating but “Ted 2” goes that extra condescending mile by depicting its gay characters as gross weirdos who brag about ‘tying their dicks together’ and reduces its black cast to a series of dick jokes. As you watch “Ted 2” you really do get the sense that McFarlane considers himself to be the smartest guy in the room but in reality he’s just the loudest. And won’t stop saying “my wife” in the voice of Borat.
Apart from its palsied attempts at satire, “Ted 2” is equally half-baked and self-indulgent. An elaborate Busby Berkeley-inspired dance sequence opens the film, putters along without a point or punchline and seems to exist simply because McFarlane thinks old fashioned musical numbers are just swell.
Scenes from obvious pop-cultural fodder like “The Breakfast Club” are recreated simply because McFarlane thinks that recognition is intrinsically funny. Bad running gags are beaten into the ground, the asses of slimy, cameo-ing personalities like Jay Leno and Tom Brady are emphatically kissed and Giovanni Ribisi is yet again given money for that terrible thing he does in front of the camera (appearing on it).
“Ted 2” slogs through it’s nearly two hour running time with an unearned sense of smug superiority even though it’s still making Kim Kardashian jokes in an age where even Perez Hilton has decided to draw dicks on the faces of other far more timely targets. The only positive thing that could be said about this unnecessary and surprisingly maudlin movie is the fact that America’s widespread indifference toward it indicates that McFarlane’s stranglehold on pop-culture is finally loosening. Soon McFarlane will join the ranks of Jim Davis, Carlos Mencia and the kind of easy targets that are limply skewered on TV shows like “Family Guy”.
Mike Sullivan is a movie reviewer for Weekender. Movie reviews appear weekly in Weekender.