Though I’m not a huge Family Guy fan (it’s too hit-or-miss for my liking), I did find myself rather excited for Ted, the directorial debut from the creator of the show and another show, American Dad. What drew me into Ted was the fact that I had no idea this movie was happening until a trailer just found its way onto YouTube and was absolutely hilarious. While there were plenty of action movies to look forward to this summer, it seemed as if Ted was the comedy to beat. And after the disaster that was the release date shift of GI Joe: Retaliation, we found that we would be getting this film earlier than thought previously, June 29. So imagine my surprise when I find out, days before I get out a school, that I got tickets to a screening of Ted, three weeks before its new release. Well, I must say, it’s certainly not a bad way to start my summer. Ted follows a guy named John, who, as a young boy, wishes that his stuffed teddy bear Christmas present would be his best friend. Low and behold, the teddy bear comes to life, and over 25 years later, he’s still there… and John (now a grown Mark Wahlberg) is still is best friend.
The cast in this film is certainly worth noting, as Mark Wahlberg, the main human character in this film, had
the sole responsibility of everyday reacting off of nothing on camera, and those reactions would eventually (through post-production) become his relationship with a crass, pot-smoking CGI teddy bear. At times, Wahlberg is remarkably funny in this film, continuing to show off the comedy skills he displayed in The Other Guys. Of course, Wahlberg didn’t have to try very hard to be funny in this film: the fact that he was sitting on a couch with a teddy bear smoking pot was funny enough in it’s own right, but it’s a bonus that Wahlberg actually is pretty funny in this movie (such parts that can be seen in the trailer include Wahlberg speed naming all the white trash names he knows in order to figure out the name of Ted’s girlfriend). Mila Kunis holds up the female side of Ted as much as she can as the generic girlfriend. The major problem is that whenever she’s on screen, her character has the tendency to slow up the movie. It’s not her fault at all; it’s simply that the part that was written for her wasn’t a very impressive one. What really is the main attraction, though, when it comes to characters in this film, is Seth MacFarlane voicing the CGI foul-mouthed teddy bear, Ted. While he recycles his Peter Griffin voice blatantly to voice Ted (and don’t worry, he’s aware of that), Seth MacFarlane is absolutely hilarious as the character. Surprisingly, the character of Ted is a novelty that doesn’t really wear off and the foul-mouthed teddy bear bit serves up some great laughs throughout the film. His interaction with human characters is absolutely priceless and while it’s absolutely ridiculous, you actually come to care for the little guy too. Sure, you could say that the film kind of plays off the fact of “oh wow, that’s a cursing, drunk teddy bear” to glide it’s way through the entire film, but I’d be surprised to find someone not entertained by it at one point or another in this film. Plus, it’s an absolute bonus that this film has some great celebrity cameos and references.
The film’s story pretty much, as I said before, plays off the fact that there’s a crude teddy bear on screen the whole time, but it’s a comedy, so the story doesn’t really need to be gold. That said, you do see where it’s going fairly quickly and although there’s one subplot not anywhere seen in the trailers, you will easily figure out how it’s going to end the minute it starts. So what really matters in this movie? Well, it’s a comedy so obviously… the jokes. And while Seth MacFarlane most definitely isn’t known for having the most consistent comedy in the world (Family Guy is very often a misfire in my opinion), I’d say that there is definitely more hit-than-miss in this film. There are not only jokes in this film, but complete sequences, that had me nearly on the floor laughing. Sure, it’s all ridiculous stuff, but it’s also so ridiculously funny that it’s impossible not to laugh.
Like any comedy, it has times when it slows down, especially in the third act of the film (although the last fifteen minutes are pretty damn hilarious), but mostly, Ted is a funny, turn-off-your-brain and just enjoy kind of movie. I mean, because, in the end, what’s not to love about a womanizing, pot-smoking, constantly cursing teddy bear who’s best friends with Mark Wahlberg? Well, in the end, as it turns out, not much. Not much at all.
FINAL GRADE: B
FINAL SAY: It’s as ridiculous as it sounds and it does mostly relish in the fact that it’s a movie with a foul-mouthed teddy bear, but Ted is a constantly hilarious and unbelievably fun summer comedy.
TED will be released in theaters on June 29.