‘Ted 2’ limps along on too many lame jokes
By Bob Bloom
Buried deep within “Ted 2” is an allegorical satire about the meaning of humanity, but it is so weighed down by the detritus of raunchy and lowbrow humor and sex jokes that it barely can be recognized, let alone heard.
The premise of producer-director-writer-actor Seth MacFarlane’s sequel is most timely, especially with the heightened awareness of such issues as racism and gay marriage that “Ted 2” could have had a measurable impact on the national discourse.
Instead, like most of MacFarlane’s recent works, “Ted 2” just bombards us with jokes, hoping that some will stick. Unfortunately, the majority does not.
The film opens with the wedding of Ted and girlfriend Tami-Lynn. The sequence includes an imaginative MGM-like musical number featuring, Ted and an array of energetic dancers.
We then fast-forward a year to find Ted and Tami-Lynn bickering over what most couples fight about — money. They both make too little and spend too much.
To bring them closer together, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a baby, which leads to a silly and fruitless series of unfunny gags at a sperm bank.
When they try to adopt, they are refused because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not recognize Ted as a person. Plus, he loses his job and his marriage is annulled.
At the suggestion of his friend, John (Mark Wahlberg), Ted decides to hire a lawyer and fight for his rights.
A fresh-out-of-law-school rookie, Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) takes the case.
If “Ted 2” had concentrated on the trial, the movie would have been funny and relevant.
But MacFarlane and his cowriters throw in so many diversions and unnecessary situations and characters, that the trial becomes just another sideshow.
MacFarlane is a funny and imaginative man who needs to self-edit his material — or hire someone who will — to make it sharper and more focused.
“Ted 2” is filled with many of the same kind of tired jokes centering on marijuana and sex that we heard in the original.
A sequence in which Ted and John break into the home of Tom Brady in order to try to steal his sperm not only falls flat, but also is rather creepy.
And the return of Giovanni Ribisi’s Donny is totally unnecessary and lacks any humor whatsoever.
“Ted 2” has some genuine and inventive laughs, but they are so scattershot that they almost are lost within the rest of the noise.
“Ted 2” is just one more in a very long line of unneeded and inferior sequels that clutter the cinematic landscape like giant trash dumps.
The pity is that, if MacFarlane and crew had actually been serious about their comedy, “Ted 2” might have been a worthwhile movie.
Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.
1½ stars out of 4
(R), language, drug use, sexual situations, nudity