Friday, July 31, 2015

Ted 2 ★1/2

Image result for Ted film stills

    You know, it is truly amazing: "Ted 2," the newest film from director Seth MacFarlane and the much-anticipated sequel to the original lewd comedy, has made every necessary adjustment this time around to succeed invariably, yet ultimately failing to comprehend what it means to produce a picture of worth and substance.

    If anything, these so-called alterations (that being, choosing a plot with any sort of value and actually placing the title character in the spotlight) lend the opportunity for more vulgarity, claptrap, and comical situations that would only be found humorous if one has either poor taste in humor, or if one has never seen an episode of "Family Guy." (Several scenes in the film have obviously been recycled from the above-mentioned animated sitcom, including a rather revolting moment in the storage room of a sperm bank, and a scene in which our lovable stuffed protagonist sells his sexual services for cash.)

    What ever happened to comedies such as "City Slickers" or even Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein?"

    As far as the plot is concerned: Ted has reconciled with his long time "Thunder Buddy" in John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a recent divorcee, and has followed through on his proposal to longtime girlfriend Tami-Lynn. Everything is just peachy--that is--until the state of Massachusetts suddenly makes the determination that Ted is not an actual human being, but a miniature piece of property. In turn, Ted's marriage becomes void and our favorite trash-talking teddy bear must now defend himself in a civil rights case that alludes to the age-old debate of what it means to be human.

    It would seem that MacFarlane's greatest downfall is his lack of restraint when it comes to brainless amusement. With the mainstream success of the original "Ted," one could certainly expect an increase in this sort of material, as the director's artistic license now becomes virtually unstoppable. (This leads to a stark rise in popular culture references, albeit treated in a negative light, and a handful of celebrity cameos that arguably become the most entertaining moments in the entire picture.) I mean, the man even named our newest female lead Samantha L. Jackson just so that he could generate a five second bit relating the name to actor Samuel L. Jackson; this is not only a poor excuse for comedy but one of numerous pathetic attempts to give rise to laughter.

    Granted, much like the previous installment (in what is destined to become a trilogy), there are a number of issues touched upon here that genuinely have substance. (This is in reference to the central conflict regarding civil rights, an issue that will never diminish in universality, and an insinuation toward this nation's insatiable sexual appetite and the unadulterated indecency and troubling subject that is internet pornography.) Yet, much like the original picture, these issues are just passed over in an effort to poke fun; the utilization of satire in these instances becomes ineffective to say the least.

    When critiquing a film of this stature, however, one must certainly keep in mind the level of ambition attached to the project. The problem in this regard is that "Ted 2" has no intention other than providing audiences with enough stupidity to last a lifetime. One may ask: What do you expect? Well, I expect the picture to be entertaining; I expect it to be worth watching; I expect it to comment--at some length--on the human condition. But I guess some things are just too much to ask for.

No comments:

Post a Comment