Ted (2012)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 10:22 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 6.9/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 7/10

TED (2012) - Seth MacFarlane

It is 1985, in the city of Boston, where lonely John Bennett one night wishes for his new teddy bear to come alive and be his best friend. On a night with a falling star, John's wish miraculously comes true, and Ted becomes an international sensation.

Known as his first live-action debut, Seth MacFarlane directs Ted, which follows John (Mark Wahlberg) in the present day pursuing a four-year long relationship with Lori Collins (Mila Kunis). Lori wishes to marry John, but feels that they cannot move ahead in life with Ted (Seth MacFarlane) around, who has now become a vulgar, perverted, obnoxious talking teddy bear.

As the film begins with hilarious narration by Patrick Stewart (Yes, by Professor X), Ted makes itself very clear on what kind of movie it wants to be. Before we get to see Wahlberg, we get an extremely short eight minutes showing Bennett's life as a kid. Despite the narrator making it clear to us that Bennett is the most unpopular kid in the neighborhood, the film never took its time to get us to care for him. The worst thing that happened to him on screen was getting yelled at. Never once do we feel sad for the protagonist and therefore, we lose the desperation he has when he wishes for a best friend, especially when young John is horribly portrayed by a child actor.

The main plot of Ted is a conflict of romance and bromance, where Bennett is supposed to be stuck in a dilemma where he needs to choose his girlfriend of four years or his only friend ever since he was a kid. This is where Ted could have been better in its first act. It wants us to understand that Ted is almost like a turning point in Bennett's life, but the film never showed that to us. As a result, the audience does not feel stuck in this problem either. Ted only covers this within the first ten minutes, then jumps right in into the smoking and sex jokes with Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane in teddy bear form. In a way, it is almost like the filmmakers do not care about young John, so why bother? Fortunately, this is not a big problem in the movie, mainly because the second and third act improve drastically as the film progresses. However, it is certain that Ted's storyline arc would have been better if its introduction received an extra ten or fifteen minutes. Enhance the backstory. Make us care about the screen duo with passion, not just humor. Make that tweak, and Ted is one of the most refreshing comedies of this year.

Without a doubt, Seth MacFarlane steals the show as the potty-mouthed teddy bear, but the film does make it clear that he is not just a talking stuffed animal. He is indeed a character. By the way, the visual effects are indeed impressive. In spite of him being the most vulgar, perverted character he is, I still cannot help but find Ted's appearance incredibly cute. Another refreshing factor the movie bears is the fact that even though MacFarlane steals the show, he still gives most of the film room for Mark Wahlberg and even Mila Kunis to display their skills in comedic acting. Yes, they have a good chemistry on screen, although it is debatable whether Wahlberg and Kunis is better than Timberlake and Kunis from Friends With Benefits. Once again, Mila Kunis proves that she is not just an actress being "used" as a sex icon on screen, but also an actress who takes her roles seriously and shows effort in her performance. Any day, better than the "hot girls" from a Michael Bay flick.

On a comedy level, Ted is a hit and miss on its jokes. When it misses, it is unbearably dreadful. When it hits, it is absolutely hilarious. Fortunately for Ted, it shoots the hoop constantly with a plethora of jokes and mostly makes the basket, which manages to keep you interested and "on board" throughout. There is a lot of Family Guy-style humor here. There is a lot of pop culture humor here. Oh, and do not get me started on the sexual humor. That is where we draw the line.

In terms of its jokes, Ted may be funny, but it still lacks wit and cleverness at times, which leads me to conclude that it is a good comedy, but definitely inferior to an earlier comedy this year, 21 Jump Street.

Yes, Ted is rated R and believe me, it is a very rated R movie. No matter how much kids want to see a talking teddy bear, lean them away. This is not for them. Even with a goofy premise, this is even more vulgar than The Hangover.

In conclusion, Ted works as a comedy. It takes a simple but funny concept where a teddy bear comes to life but won't leave the house and turns it into the most entertaining party-fest of a movie. It may hit and miss on its vulgar jokes, and the elementary/high school chemistry between the pair could have been fleshed out more to make us care, but Ted works as a comedy and as a film in general due to Seth MacFarlane actually paying attention to the script, taking it to hysterical heights, thoughtful peaks, and even warm themes. By the way, here is a short tutorial on how to enjoy Ted at its full potential. Grab a few beers and sodas, and watch this with your thunder buddy.

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