Review: 'Ted 2' will haunt your dreams
This movie gave me a nightmare. I'm not kidding.
I watched it last night, then decided to sleep on it before reviewing it. And I had bad dreams about watching a mostly plotless movie that kept interrupting itself with boring distractions, and it just wasn't funny at all. When I woke up, I didn't realize at first that Ted 2 was the inspiration for this bizarre dream. But, what else could it be? Actually this dream interpretation site I randomly Googled says it could mean I am:
... attempting to protect [my]self from [my] emotions and/or actions. Viewing them on a movie screen projects them onto another person and thus makes those feelings and actions seem more distant. [My] subconscious is trying to protect [me] from experiencing them directly.
Alternatively, it could mean:
To dream that [I am] watching a movie suggests that [I am] watching life pass [me] by. Perhaps [I am] living vicariously through the actions of others. Consider also how the movie parallels to situations in [my] waking life. [I should] observe how the characters relate to [me] and how they may represent an aspect of [my]self.
Well, that is incredibly depressing; I'm just going to continue on with the theory that watching a movie late in the day may cause me to dream about watching movies at night.
So, the movie opens at the wedding of living teddy bear Ted (Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). The movie establishes that the marriage of John, the child who wished Ted into existence and grew up to become Mark Wahlberg, to Mila Kunis from the last movie has ended, for some reason that isn't really explained in the story, but is obviously because Mila Kunis said no to doing the sequel. Good for her.
After this is established, the movie skips forward in time for a year, where Ted and Tami-Lynn's marriage is also strained. To save their marriage, they decide to have a child. Obviously, Ted isn't capable of being a father, so their is ridiculously long series of not-particularly-funny interludes in which Ted and John try to steal the semen of various z-list celebrities, ending in a trip to a fertility clinic to finally deliver the gross out gag that you probably predicted as soon as you knew about this subplot. Well, this all turns out to be for naught, because it Tami Lynn is infertile. However, a request for adoption causes the government to realize, technically, Ted isn't legally recognized as a person.
We finally reach the main plot, as Ted and John sue the government, with the help of pro-bono lawyer and probable John love interest Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), to get Ted recognized as a person. Unfortunately, Donny, a creepy janitor still obsessed (from Ted) with owning his own talking teddy bear (Giovanni Ribisi), convinces Hasbro that, if Ted is only defined as "property," they can take him back, find out how he works, and make millions of living teddy bears to sale for profit. Then everyone goes to a comic book convention in New York City for some reason.
This suffers a bit from bad timing; I don't know if you've been keeping up with current events, but the courts have kicking butt recently on civil rights issues. To give the movie credit, it does seem to have its heart genuinely in the right place; it's not like this put the gay marriage movement (which especially early trailers intrinsically linked this movie with) back any, and not just because, you know, recent events. Which doesn't really help with any sort of tension or reality; it's kind of nice to realize that one of the most unrealistic aspects of a movie about a talking teddy bear is how hard it is for him to gain equal rights at this moment in time.
This movie does, however, provide evidence that we're still not as ready to legalize marijuana as we think we are. A lot of the jokes still revolve around revealing that characters smoke pot. If humor works on surprise, and it shouldn't be surprising that people smoke pot, then these scenes shouldn't be humorous. I mean, they aren't, but that's my next section.
To put it bluntly, if you're going to Ted 2 because you think the plot isn't just some vague series of events on which to hang jokes and that you're really going to get a great story, what is wrong with you? Digressions from the plot are to be expected; the story isn't going to be great, but if the jokes are funny, who cares? Of course, if the jokes aren't any good, you've got a problem. And Ted 2 has a problem.
I obviously wasn't the biggest fan of Ted, and its not like I went back and rewatched it before watching this movie, but I don't remember it being this lifeless. It feels like Seth MacFarlane just didn't want to be here; like he'd said all he had to say in Ted, and wanted to move on. Except the guy works in television. That doesn't make any sense.
Even little things, like the editing, seemed lazy. And trust me, I'm not usually someone who notices the film editing. But it stuck out as bizarrely badly timed (and timing is everything in comedy), made even more so by the incredibly bad (or lazy) idea to not feature any background music. That probably says it all; this movie was so uninteresting that I found myself thinking about what wasn't in it even while it was playing.
The truth of the matter is that the jokes were really lame. Not lame in the way the jokes in the original Ted sometimes were, where even if I didn't find them funny, I could at least see how other people might find them funny. The funniest moment of the entire screening was when a woman genuinely started laughing hysterically during a completely serious courtroom speech; I don't know, maybe she was watching a funny video on her cell phone.
There were maybe two scenes I kind of liked; one in which Ted and John heckle improv comedians with incredibly tasteless suggestions for locations and people to base their skits on. Basically, they were "too soon." Way too soon. However, it seemed like the only scene where the movie was actually trying to insult the audience, and was, in other words, the only scene actually trying. And also I liked it because I hate improv.
The only other scene trying was a musical interlude, in which Samantha sings a song that, actually, I will be disappointed if the Ted movies don't go two for two with Best Original Song Oscar nominations. But the joke to go with it, in which various wild animals stop to listen to the song, has been before and better.
One of the random wild animals is a fox. And seeing as how Hasbro apparently paid half the movie's budget for product placement, that means this is a movie featuring cameos by a fox and Applejack. And I still didn't like it.