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‘Ted 2’ Review: Starring Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg & Amanda Seyfried

As talented as Seth MacFarlane (2014’s A Million Way to Die in the West) is on Family Guy and as fun and joyful as he is on Graham Norton’s interviews (if you haven’t watched those you really should), it’s a shame his storyline in Ted 2, the sequel to the hilarious 2012 comedy Ted, is not as well done. Trust me, I love a talking Teddy Bear as much as the next 8-year-old, but if you thought these characters acted stupid in the first film, it’s way over the top here.

About a year and a half has past since we last saw talking Teddy bear Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and his best friend John (Mark Wahlberg). John is now divorced and Ted is marrying his girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Ted and Tami-Lynn want to take the next step in their relationship and have a baby. After going to a fertility clinic and interviewing at adoption agencies, Ted realizes he will have to prove he is a real person in the court of law in order to have a child and for his marriage to Tami-Lynn to be considered legitimate.

Ted and John seek consult from young lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), who also shares their passion for pot. Ted, John and Samantha must prove that Ted is a real person and not property, so that he can go on and live a normal life. What the trio doesn’t realize is how hard it will be and how many people want them to fail.

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Ted is far superior and has more emotional depth and jokes than the sequel, even though it’s fun to see Wahlberg and MacFarlane together again. If you hated the first film, there’s not much of a chance you will prefer this sequel. As much as I wanted to love seeing Ted on-screen again, this sequel is less funny and at times just plain stupid. Although the story clearly has fictional elements, the first film rang true on many subjects including childhood friendships, serious relationships and what it’s like to grow apart from someone. In Ted 2, the storyline is so over the top and dumb that it misses the emotional core the first film had.

There are a handful of memorable moments in Ted 2, including when John and Ted sing their own lyrics to the “Law & Order” theme song, which I suppose is to replace the classic “Thunder Buddies” tune from the first. There is also a fantastic Jurassic Park homage that is funny and right on for these characters. With Jurassic World still playing in theaters, it’s easy to see what Universal Pictures is doing here.

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Though I absolutely adore Amanda Seyfried, and she is great as the newbie stoner lawyer here, the film has a big hole without Mila Kunis. The disappearance of her character Lori is explained within the first 10 minutes of the film, but in Ted, her and Wahlberg’s relationship was so well developed and genuine that it seems just silly to write her character off with a few lines of dialogue. Couldn’t MacFarlane wait for Kunis to become available to film the sequel? The ongoing theme of the first film was about John ultimately growing up and seriously committing to Lori, a great girl who loved him deeply. It’s just weird to take out that relationship completely in the sequel.

Seth MacFarlane clearly has a talent for comedy and voice work and Wahlberg proves he can do comedy, but Ted 2 is more about the shock value and gross jokes over the legitimate storytelling and filmmaking.

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