Thursday, 9 July 2015



Ted Talks.

115 Minutes. Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi & Morgan Freeman. Director: Seth MacFarlane.

"Here comes the bear! All dressed in fur"! Da-da-da, daaa! America's favourite family bear is back after a three year high that has seen director and actor Seth MacFarlane draw critics on his straight-shooting western wise-cracker 'A Million Ways To Die In The West'. All whilst continuing his one line, one lane reign as the king of controversial comedy, with his television box of tricks in the legendary 'Family Guy' and the 'Futurama' to his Griffin's 'Simpsons'; 'American Dad'. Almost as crazily cute, crassly crude and as comedic classic as Stewie Griffin, is 'Ted', the movie franchise buddy comedy, brother bear of Seth's family unfriendly small-screen extended couch gag. Sure Ted may sound like Peter Griffin after one too many Pawtucket's but he still looks the C.G. convincing part and in this New England, new chapter of the multi-talented writer and performers career is as Boston as the Celtics, Aerosmith or 'Departed' F-bombs. And with Academy Award nominated actor Mark Wahlberg giving an accented performance next to our new furry friend, 'Ted' was an instant comedy classic on the scale of 'The Hangover' and 'Horrible Bosses'. So good that we let 'The Cleveland Show' slide. So much so that of course its time for the obligatory sequel in a modern movie world of under due and overcooked reboots and re-hashes.

'Ted 2' stays on the pipe though, smoking hot in a Summer blockbuster vehicle of the same 'Fast and Furious' and 'Mad Max' franchises, along with the dinosaurs of 'Jurassic World' and 'Terminator: Genisys'. This second pass it, pass it offering is no teddy's bear picnic and won't be ruined by the ants of Marvel. No matter how many superheros they assemble this year in 'The Avengers', 'Fantastic Four' and the iPhone small screen dominance of 'Daredevil'. Because this furry-hero sequel takes it to comic con without having to play dress up. Stealing geeks lunch money and starting one hell of a battle Royale between everyone from Star Trek captains to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga indeed dudes! This is the perfect pizza and beer movie for those looking for a comedy high between the trademark punch pulled, pop culture references and riffs to the classic stick slapping physical comedy. MacFarlane is on fine, furry, fiery form yet again with arguably his best, stand alone, couch imprinting, ass and balls gag character. Whilst sitting next to his green leotard and white spots is the ever great, hard working and underrated talent of Mark Wahlberg who has been knocking it out of Fenway again and again over the years, with movies like 'Lone Survivor' and 'The Gambler' and shows once more that he has the comedy chops too with this crack. From taking more than just a sample of gross out comedy, to giving a hand to NFL legend Tom Brady in the wrong sort of way these thunder buddies catch lightning in a plastic specimen cup twice. Striking us with involuntary noises from the belly louder than God's farts. We could watch the relationship between man and bear in the wild of downtown Boston for life.

This 'Ted' sequel gives you more too with the return of the weirdly wonderful Giovanni Ribisi amongst some cameos as classic as this 'Family' guys infamous cut-aways. Morgan Freeman's voice is on hand too as he makes a warm welcome addition to this movie, but don't worry Patrick Stewart's classic, storytelling narration still makes it so. Still, Mila Kunis isn't back unfortunately. No, no one told her to "shut up Meg", she was just busy making her own family guys. Instead Amanda Seyfried steps into the love interest role with heart and humour giving this film and one and a half man show the extra puff it needs after starring in 'A Million Ways'. MacFarlane's new darling plays it perfectly, even breaking out the acoustic like a corny guy at a campfire for some real talent. This bloke bombshell is even game on sending up her looks, but giving as good as she gets she shows she's just as funny in anyone's eyes. Still with some moral ambiguity amongst all the offensive jokes targeting just about everyone and anyone (does that kind of count for equal rights?) is Seth going soft on us? As Ted ties the knot with the string of marriage and tries to bear fruit, minus some accessories (therefore he's a friend in need of a "hand" but Sam Jones has run out of Flash), he has more 'legalize it' problems than claiming he has glaucoma. It's a case of 'The People Versus Teddy Flynt' as the whole world are screaming "YOU'RE A TOY!" to a guy that once had so much buzz like Woody. Still as this Toy story hits the shelves and chambers of court it still sustains the laughs also whilst not so subtly trying to say something as a sidebar. This equality message may seem a little West of Seth but we have no objection. Besides this guy has been making smaller gestures than this in 'Family Guy' for years even if it was followed by a psyche gag after. Getting to the heart of a cuddly toy that says 'I Love You' when you press its tummy, MacFarlane plays for more than just laughs, like the guy that breaks into epic songs when he can always does. The Sinatra tux, all Astaire opening credits number reminiscent of the 'Family Guy' theme is chairman of the board, big band proof of this...and it rocks! This just might make you laugh and cry. In 'Ted 2' some of the stuffing may be missing but it's still open season on the bear necessities of classic comedies. The string on his back hasn't run out of cord yet. Ted still talks! How about a 'T3d', because this bear still has arms! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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