#LegalizeTed. That’s a cause most people can get behind. But if the cause was to #LegalizeTed2, the world might not necessarily be ready.
With Ted, writer/director/producer Seth MacFarlane created a raunchy laugh fest while, somewhat surprisingly, presenting a story about friendship and loyalty. Ted 2 also succeeds with the laughs but doesn’t really provide anything to keep audiences emotionally invested.
In the sequel, Ted (MacFarlane) marries his girlfriend, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). Meanwhile, his best friend John (Mark Wahlberg) has recently divorced Lori (Mila Kunis’ character in the first film) and is having trouble getting back into the dating game. After hitting a rough patch in their marriage, Ted and Tami-Lynn decide to have a child to save their relationship (according to this movie, that’s actually a healthy decision for couples to make). Since Ted does not have the necessary body parts to produce a child, he needs a little help.
After failing to steal Tom Brady’s sperm and realizing Tami-Lynn can’t produce a child, Ted decides to go through the adoption process. This proves difficult when the courts refuse to recognize him as a person. As a result, he gets fired from his job at the supermarket and his marriage is voided out. With the help of an up-and-coming lawyer, Sam L. Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), Ted and John set off on an adventure from Boston court rooms to New York City Comic-Con to prove once and for all that Ted is a person rather than “property.”
MacFarlane’s script for the first film may have had some gross-out humor, but the story’s heart came from the “Thunder Buddies” themselves, even if it didn’t seem like it. With Ted 2, it seems like the story is trying too hard to be a metaphor about social issues. Ted’s plight is consistently compared to slavery and LGBT rights in obvious ways. If the similarities were more subtle, Ted 2 could have been a progressive movie to bring attention to minorities rather than an in-your-face message about justice.
While the story has its flaws, at least it is completely unique from the first film. Unfortunately, this can only be said for the first three-quarters of the movie. In the last act, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), the psycho who wanted a Ted of his very own in the first film, returns to once again gain possession of his favorite teddy bear. These scenes almost completely copy the thriller-like aspects of the original, and it’s like MacFarlane didn’t even try to be different.
However, Ted 2 manages to succeed in the raunchy jokes and smart pop culture references. With cameos from Tom Brady, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson, savvy audiences will enjoy the humorous allusions to Brady’s “deflategate” controversy, Freeman’s deep voice, and Neeson’s intense acting. However, some audiences may cringe a little when they hear references to 9/11 or the Ferguson riots. Personally, I did not care for Ted’s slip-up of the “F” word, and I’m not referring to the word that rhymes with “duck.” Then again, this is a MacFarlane movie, and if you’re not a little offended, it means he didn’t do his job right.
Overall, if you loved the first film, chances are you will at least like the sequel. You won’t get an Empire Strikes Back or a Terminator 2 but you will be mildly entertained by Ted’s shenanigans and will enjoy seeing your favorite teddy bear come to life once again.