The teddy bear that came to life returns to fight for his rights and to be officially declared "human"
Everybody's favourite foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear is back with his "thunder buddy" John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) in this rather pointless but decently funny sequel to the 2012 film. Voiced, directed and co-written by Seth Macfarlene, the titular stuffed toy that came to life is tying the knot with his colleague-cum-girlfriend Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) but as soon as they try to have a baby, some red flags in the state office have been raised and Ted is official declared a property, and absolutely not a person, hence begins his battle in the court of law to fight for his rights.
This theme was similarly explored in the 1999 film Bicentennial Man which depicts a robot's journey to become human and to be declared as one by the law. Nothing is new on the table and the element of surprise is no longer there as we're already used to the harsh and dirty talking bear with the relatable child-like grown up. The plot is structurally formulaic but messier (in a good way) than the first film as it casually transitions from marriage problems to court drama to a road trip to the Comic Con, all with heavy weed influence and pop culture references.
The film doesn't take itself seriously and like the usual Seth MacFarlene and his co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, they aren't afraid to be extremely offensive and disgusting -- from making fun of gay people and covering a character with human sperm. Half of the jokes are hilarious including the Google "did you mean..." ongoing gag but some just don't work at all and predictably repeated. The presence of the CGI-created Ted is as convincing as before, it's like he truly exists.
Other than problems with being labeled a "property", Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) from the first film is back again to play the antagonist. There are quite a number of cameo appearances that may delight the audiences who know them, like Liam Neeson, Jimmy Kimmel and the Saturday Night Live cast. The only new main character introduced is Samantha Leslie Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), who's an unrealistically nice and pretty lawyer who also loves weed. She replaces John's now-former wife Lori (played by Mila Kunis in the first film) as his new love interest. It's an awkward job for Seyfried playing a stoned character with moral integrity, but she does well, fitting in as an intelligent professional who helps the duo unconditionally and doesn't stop them from being reckless and immature. Every guy's dream girl.
The performances of the main cast is good -- Wahlberg's chemistry with MacFarlene's CGI character is still as tight as in the first film. However, compared to the first film, the emotional engagement is much weaker. MacFarlene could've developed the relationship between Ted and Tami-Lynn more to make their love for each other more believable. John and Samantha's romance practically just happens because they're both single and love smoking pot.
In overall, although Ted 2 isn't as surprising and funny as the first film, it's still lightheartedly fun to watch and unintentionally satirical. Just a little warning -- this movie encourages irresponsible low-income drug abusers to have babies and have no intention to change at the end of the film. That's the kind of humour and total who-gives-a-shit attitude it has, which not all adults would appreciate.
What I would've named the film: "Dickless Teddy Bear Wants to be Declared a Person"
Malaysia censorship: Quite heavily censored, mostly due to marijuana (can be seen in trailers). Our beloved film censorship board just can't accept that weed smokers could turn out to be lawyers and nice people. Oh come on, this film is already rated 18! Vulgarities, however, are not cut or muted at all.
Second opinion: My girlfriend said she can't recall much about the first film but finds this one quite funny.
Verdict: Not as tightly written as the first film and has nothing really new to offer but still hilarious at most parts.
Rating: 3 / 5
Running Time: 116 minutes
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Screenwriters: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Seth MacFarlane
Malaysia Release Date: 25 June 2015
Local Distributor: UIP Malaysia
Production: Bluegrass Films, Fuzzy Door Productions, Media Rights Capital, Smart Entertainment
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