Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ted (2012)

John (Mark Wahlberg) is an immature, thirty-five year old man. As a young child, John wished his teddy bear to life, because he wanted a best friend. As an adult, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is a slacker. He doesn’t have a job, and in many ways, Ted is John’s Achilles heel. Lori (John‘s girlfriend) is tired of John’s lack of motivation in life. John needs to grow up and become a man, but who will he choose? Lori (Mila Kunis) or Ted?

Ted is a talking teddy bear, and his long-term bond with John is the focal point of the story. At first, Ted was a little bit too silly for my taste, but as time passed, this film started to grow on me. Yeah, the story of a grown man, who struggles to let go of a friendship with his talking teddy bear sounds foolish, but Ted is filled with some great humor and plenty of likeable characters. The talking teddy bear stuff worried me at first, but the friendship between Ted and John was believable. John is a loser, who is struggling to grow up, and Ted is John’s foul-mouthed buddy. Ted actually had a surprising amount of depth, so audiences could form some kind of connection with this character.

Seth MacFarlane provided the voice for Ted, and this film features MacFarlane’s full-length directorial debut. I haven’t followed Family Guy in a LONG time, but I could notice some of MacFarlane’s very familiar trends throughout this film. Cutaway gags, 80’s pop culture references (mainly the Flash Gordon stuff), and while voicing Ted, MacFarlane actually makes a joke about the similarities between his voice and Peter Griffin‘s voice. I rolled my eyes during this scene, but MacFarlane’s Family Guy tricks didn’t annoy me too much. For the most part, I actually enjoyed his directing. His style is pretty basic, but MacFarlane’s directing didn’t hurt this film, so I don’t have any real complaints.

Ted is one of the better R-rated comedies in 2012. Ted offers consistent laughs, the raunchy and vulgar humor is enjoyable, the acting is very solid, and I seriously can’t think of one unlikeable character in the entire cast. The chubby kid comes close, but Robert (Aedin Mincks) never reaches the level of someone you want to punch in the face, and they really took a more lighthearted approach towards this character in the final moments. Giovanni Ribisi is supposed to be the main antagonist here. Donny (Ribisi) is weird and quirky, but this character couldn’t pull any negative feelings out of me, because Ribisi’s hilarious performance is so entertaining.

Honestly, I didn’t expect much from this film, but Ted really surprised me. The story might feel kind of generic and predictable at times, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Ted isn‘t epic or groundbreaking, but this film did provide plenty of laughs for me.

Final Score: 7/10

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