‘Ted 2’ is a great, but flawed, sequel


Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

After the critical and major commercial success of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted,” everyone assumed that a sequel was soon to follow, and they were correct when “Ted 2” was announced back in 2013, and released this past Friday.

“Ted 2” was able to capture a lot of the same scatological humor and wit from its predecessor and deliver a lot of funny gags and one-liners, but, unfortunately, couldn’t quite capture all of the charm of the first.

The sequel follows the titular character and his Thunder Buddy, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), as they fight the government to prove that Ted has a soul and can, therefore, be legally deemed a person rather than property. All of the events in “Ted 2” are the result of Ted and Tami-Lynn’s (Jessica Barth) attempt to fix their marriage by adopting a kid.

The plot, unfortunately, is pretty full of cliché’s and fairly formulaic. Even when you think it’s throwing a different twist on something, it will immediately correct its path back into the formula highway. There also seems to be a lack of explanation as to how Wahlberg is still making money without any apparent job.

Another disappointing element of “Ted 2” was some of its writing off of characters, or continuity errors, from the first film. For instance, the way MacFarlane wrote off Mila Kunis’ character, Lori, was truly disappointing and cheap. It was a floating question on how her character would be handled due to her not returning, and it was handled poorly.

Moreover, “Ted 2” also reduces the screen time of some of its best characters from the predecessor, especially Sam Jones playing a fictionalized version of himself and former co-worker, Guy (Patrick Warburton). While it was great to see them return, and Warburton was quite hilarious in his scenes, they were just too few and far between.

On a more positive note, “Ted 2” did bring a lot of the great jokes back from its predecessor, as well as introduce some MacFarlane specialties not previously used, including a theatrical dance number and a major, destructive fight sequence.

In addition, MacFarlane also brings a lot of his famous racist, stoner and time-relevant humor to “Ted 2” to keep the laughs going. He even recreates a few scenes from his show, “Family Guy,” including a hilarious mishap at a fertility clinic.

“Ted 2” is also led by some great performances from the cast, especially Wahlberg as Bennett, Barth as Tami-Lynn, Giovanni Ribisi in the vengeful return of Donny, Warburton as the over-the-top Guy, and (of course) MacFarlane as the soulful, energetic, and vulgar Ted.

Overall, “Ted 2” doesn’t quite reach the same hilarious or original heights as its predecessor and could’ve used a little more work before release, but it doesn’t disappoint those who were fans of the original, or those who are just fans of MacFarlane.