“You’re not a cheater. I mean, I think your balls are perfect” – John, Ted 2 (2015)
Was it a good idea watching both Ted (2012) and Ted 2 in the same day? Absolutely, this was probably the best idea since I’ve had since putting treacle on ice cream. A perfect blend of diabetes and sweets. Still that has nothing to do with our titular teddy bear now does it, no, not at all. So Ted 2 really just had to be as funny as the first film and maybe have a plot that isn’t terrible. Well I mean, at least it accomplishes one of these things.
Ted 2 once again follows Ted (Seth MacFarlane) who is now a newlywed man to Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). John (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself newly single and still unable to move on from his previous relationship with the absent Mila Kunis. This film tackles the idea that Ted is not in fact a person under the eyes of the law. To combat this they hire new lawyer Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to fight against Hasbro who want to reclaim Ted and mass produce him as a toy. It’s a bit of a weird plot but it’s better than that romantic shit we got last time.
Nevermind, there’s still a romantic subplot throughout the majority of this film. This time it features both John and new character, Samantha. To give credit where it’s obviously due, the two are good on screen together in the sense that their performances are good. Bearing in mind that Daddy’s Home (2015) came out in the same year as Ted 2, I’d say it was a pretty mixed year for Mark Wahlberg. See, although Daddy’s Home convinced me he had the comedic timing of a sponge cake, Ted 2 managed to impress me with how good of a comedic support he is.
Somehow they got not only Sam Jones to return, but they also got Morgan Freeman in on this film. Both play very small roles in comparison to the runtime, but it was still very cool to see the two of them. Even Patrick Stewart returns as the narrator. Again, a much smaller role but given how long the film is on for I don’t suppose that’s too much of a problem really. As I previously mentioned, Mila Kunis is not in this film. It does lend itself to the plot rather well. I’m presuming John got divorced simply because they couldn’t afford Mila Kunis. To make up for this, Liam Neeson shows up for one scene and that scene is pure gold from start to finish.
Personally I thought this film relied a lot less on pop culture references. Sure, there were a few jokes in there surrounding and they were for an acquired taste. Thankfully that taste of comedy just happened to coincide with mine. A Hasbro executive blaming the events of the film on Mattel was genuinely quite funny to me. Still, there were no real mentions of anything specific, even though the film takes place at Comic Con. Actually, saying this film doesn’t rely on pop culture was a mistake of me to say. I mean, considering the setting for the final act of the film is at Comic Con, they’ll be expected to make a few references.
Those references in the final part of the film were really great. Not only that but the first acts of the film also included some great pop culture references. Probably my favourite out of the bunch was Ted naming himself after Mr. T’s character on The A-Team (1983 – 1987) or discovering a field of weed as the Jurassic Park (1993) theme played. Either way, there were some very funny scenes within this film that relied on pop culture. But compared to how many there were in the first film, some may be comforted by the lack of references.
Although there are a lack of pop culture references, the film seems to have upped the ante in regards to the number of cameos. Liam Neeson appears, as do Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno for some very brief and hilarious scenes. Hell even Tom Brady shows up, apparently he’s famous. It’s beyond me whether or not he is genuinely famous but considering he’s a footballer or something, I presume he is. Anyways that’s beside the point. Pretty much all of the cameos in this film are a genuinely pleasant surprise and are neat little one time jokes. They don’t really add to the narrative but they’re always very nice to see, a nice little break from the plot.
As usual a lot of the film relies on gross out humour to make it through the runtime. More of it falls flat than it should if I’m honest. Of course, given that it’s a sequel, what are you honestly expecting? Yes, some of the jokes definitely do fall flat, but there are more hits than misses. That’s all you need in the most basic of circumstances really. As long as there are more funnier jokes than flatliners, then you’ve got yourself a decent film. To be honest Patrick Warburton dressed up as the titular character from The Tick (2017 – Ongoing) was more than enough for me. Even better than that was the fact that he was shoving nerds about at Comic Con. That’s literally all he does in this film and it’s about time we appreciate that role.
There were a few, interesting, choices when it came down to cinematography. There’s an opening argument with Ted and his newlywed wife, and for some reason they go for a shaky cam. Now I should point out I bought a legal copy of this film from ASDA, so there should be no reason to have a shaky cam. It doesn’t add anything to the scene so why add it in? Honestly it’s just such an odd scene to have that styling of cinematography in, it just doesn’t work and it never will.
Overall, Ted 2 is certainly one of those sequels that can regard itself as a success. While not as fast paced or as smart as the first, Ted 2 definitely has a lot of laugh out loud moments. My only concern with the film really is that it relies too much on the plot of the first. Not so much that it want’s to make an expansion, but that it’s literally the same plot. The only difference is Ted is fighting for his right to be a person and not property. There’s still the mandatory and crummy romantic angle to the film, because there always is, isn’t there?
Still, what can you expect from a film where the villain manages to capture Ted by playing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. It’s such a wacky and zany film. It’s very much in the same vein of the first. Nothing wrong with that, if it isn’t broke then certainly don’t fix it. Ted 2 understands that and it’s the take home message of the film, although there isn’t any harm in trying some new things every now and then.