Nov 232015
 
Title: Ted 2
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Mark Wahlberg,
Seth McFarlane,
Amanda Seyfried,
Jessica Barth,
Certificate: US: Not-Rated
UK: 15
Picture: 1080p
2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English.
Runtime: 1 Hours 55 mins
Extras: Featurettes,
Deleted Scenes,
Gag reel.
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: USA: Dec 15 2015
UK: Nov 23 2015
See If You Like: Ted,
A Million Ways To Die In The West,

Taking a child’s fantasy and giving a kid’s film an adult twist and injection of raunchy comedy made Ted an unexpectedly amusing, enjoyable, and even endearing comedy film. Sadly, Ted 2 is the sequel you may have asked for but really, really, didn’t want; an unfunny mess which abuses its concept, and forgets what made it so enjoyable first time round.

Set some time after the events of the first film, with a single John (Mark Wahlberg) pining for his lost love and refusing to live the single life, and his best friend Ted (once again voiced and mo-capped by writer/director/decreasingly funny Seth McFarlane) deciding to have a baby with new-wife Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth); leading the pair down a path with bumps including searching for a sperm-donor, and eventually embarking upon a court case to have Ted legally classified as human (he can’t have a baby, a job, or even a wife without such a classification – but somehow nobody’s noticed he didn’t have citizenship until now).

Obviously any plot which focusses around the misadventures of a sweary, drug-using, talking teddy bear is bound to be ludicrous, but Ted 2‘s is also boring. In pushing John to the sidelines,  promoting Ted from sidekick to frontrunner, lacking clear direction (it’s 35 minutes in before Ted’s legal status – apparently the big issue of the film – is even mentioned), and dropping both the romance and the bromance which made Ted such a successful and, in-part, relatable buddy comedy, what we’re left with is a shell of an idea for a bunch of comedy sketches which never really land.

All of the jokes smack of trying-too-hard, using vulgarity for sheer shock value, and simply throwing as much shit (or cum) at a wall in an effort to see which ‘new’ pop-culture gag will stick; things such as “hashtag” jokes, Kardashian mentions, etc. mean Ted 2 is not only a film of half-hearted and unfunny one-liners, but a comedy which will become outdated extremely fast.

We get more useless and non-sensical cameo’s than Entourage, and while it may seem mildly amusing to see Jay Leno, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Tom Brady, and David Hasselhoff (with K.I.T.T) popping up, you’ll have forgotten their involvement almost as soon as the credits roll; proving their various appearances had zero impact on the plot, unlike Sam Jones’ fantastically fitting and funny cameo in the first film (which he unsurprisingly reprises), and simply reminding us how far Ted has fallen.

Still, there are one or two decent one-liners in the mix, an almost smile-inducing montage part way through, and a couple of pop-culture references which not only tickle the funny bone but are relevant to franchise fans (the Jurassic Park reference being key here – though sadly pushed just a little too far). Mark Wahlberg also delivers in what could’ve been a disastrously poor role without him (proving once again he’s as great at comedy as action), Jessica Barth’s character Tami-Lynn is much more likeable than in the first movie, and even newcomer Amanda Seyfried (the Mamma Mia! star who plays Ted’s young lawyer and John’s love interest) slots into the ensemble with ease and brings a handful of laughs (the Gollum jokes being made at her expense being rather funny, despite a touch harsh).

Though, with a disjointed plot, the loss of the human element (a sadly ironic turn of events given the subject of the film), and a lack of romance, bromance, and everything the makes a buddy comedy work; not to mention too many poor cameos; proof that Family Guy humour doesn’t translate to big screen live-action comedy; a lack of Ryan Reynolds; and a hugely inflated runtime which seems to go on and on and on and on and on, Ted 2 is not only skippable, but the very definition of an unnecessary sequel.

Ted 2 still - Ted at bar

Picture:

Thankfully, Ted 2 doesn’t look like something you give your kid when you tell him Gradma just died; coming to Blu-ray with a vibrant yet natural and well reproduced colour palette, accurate skin tones, and deep inky blacks; there are a lot of visual positives to be seen on this release.

Fine detail is strong, textures are excellent, and there’s next to no evidence of crush, banding, artifacting, aliasing or other compression/print issues to cause a problem. A solid visual presentation all round.

Audio:

Similarly Ted 2‘s audio presentation; a dynamic 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix; is also strong. Based largely in the front channels (where dialogues takes centre stage and proves to be clean, consistent, and expertly levelled), it’s an understated mix which plays much like that of the first film; light-on-bass and only really using the rears for subtle ambience (which can go largely unnoticed) until more action-heavy sequences require their full engagement. It’s an acceptable mix, though not one which is likely to blow your socks off.

Ted 2 still - road trip

Extras:

Ted 2 fans can consider themselves fairly spoilt in terms of bonus features (more so than with the first outing), as the Blu-ray release of the film comes with deleted scenes (more than those stuffed into the Extended Edition – though sadly all rightfully deleted); a gag-reel (which is on the upper end of gag-reel humour); an audio commentary (the value of which will really depend on how much you enjoy the film – but does contain some worthwhile moments); and a host of featurettes.

We’re given mini-promo featurettes looking at some of the film’s cameos (including Hasselhoff and Neeson); a look at the history of John and Ted; a featurette looking at the creation of the big dance number opening the film (though, as it was an awful, lengthy, completely unfunny addition to the movie, and came with no punchline whatsoever, it’s difficult to see why you’d want to explore that further); and featurettes looking at both the road-trip elements of the film (as the Thunder Buddies and Amanda journey from Boston to NY as part of their quest to legalise Ted), and creating the NY Comic-Con sequence (one of the more fun special features on the disc). All combining to create a fantastic selection of extras which are sure to please any fan.

The Bottom Line:

Picture quality is excellent, sounds is solid, and there’s a bountiful selection of special features sure to delight fans of the film. It’s just a shame the film is nowhere near as good as the undeniably funny first outing. Ted 2 sadly lacks the buddy elements which made the first film work; Wahlberg and McFarlane still have great onscreen chemistry and there are a couple of funny moments (seriously, only one or two – which is nowhere near enough in a two-hour comedy movie), but the cameos lack impact, the jokes are stale and forced, and Ted 2 just ends up being a completely forgettable affair and the definition of an unnecessary sequel. Catch this on cable, if there’s nothing else on, or preferably rewatch the original Ted; a far funnier film, which actually worked in an appearance from Ryan Reynolds.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

Film:
Ratings 04 Buy from Amazon.co.uk Buy from Amazon.com
Video:
Ratings 09
Audio:
Ratings 07
Extras:
Ratings 08
Overall:
Ratings 06