Does Ted 2 live up to the sequel hype?
Let’s face it: Sequels are usually never a good idea. They take a creative attempt at storytelling and spoil it rotten so that Hollywood can make a quick buck on something that has worked before. And, to my complete and utter disliking, such unnecessary follow-ups rear their ugly heads more and more these days, with the rare exception to “sequel syndrome” becoming an even rarer commodity. With that in mind, I’m still trying to figure out if Ted 2 is worthy of being labeled as one of those rare exceptions.
Ted 2, starring Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett, Amanda Seyfried as Samantha Jackson, Giovanni Ribisi as Donny and Seth Macfarlane as the voice of Ted, brings back the beloved friendship of John and his crudely appealing teddy bear. This time, however, we find Ted struggling with his “human-hood” (for lack of a better term), especially after it complicates his ability to have a baby with his wife, Tami-Lynn. Through the assistance of rookie lawyer, Samantha Leslie Jackson (yes, just like Sam L. Jackson), John and Ted go up against some of the most vicious lawyers in the American judicial system in a last-chance attempt to save Ted from being classified as property. Also, if that’s not enough, Donny the menacing stalker returns to kidnap Ted for a second time, with the hopes of mass-producing a whole new line of talking teddy bears with Hasbro.
For this summer’s big blockbuster comedy, it does feel as if it fell a little flat. Some jokes really do work and held on for a considerable amount of time. Yet, at the same time, a lot of the attempted humor pushes me to believe that this story’s deeper heart is being lost to the even more shallow vulgarity. John and Ted’s beloved friendship carries out alright into this new addition to the Ted series, but not as whole-heartedly as I wished it to be.
On the more optimistic side of things, the list of celebrity appearances is surprisingly immense, from Tom Brady and Jay Leno to Morgan Freeman and even Liam Neeson (who, by the way, has one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie). Additionally, Ted 2 does try to promote some type of message about equality among all walks of life, especially upon taking his plea for citizenship to court. And, in all honesty, we can all use a fart joke once in a while, even if we tell ourselves the opposite.
For these reasons, I say that Ted 2 holds up. It is definitely lacking when put up against its predecessor, suffering from some serious “sequel syndrome,” Nevertheless, there is no denying that you will get a good belly laugh at least once or twice within the 115-minute time frame. So, go ahead Seth MacFarlane. Keep making us laugh.
Ted 2 is playing locally in and around Montclair! Some theaters include AMC Essex Green Cinema 9 in West Orange, AMC Clifton Commons 16 and even AMC Loews Wayne 14. For show times, a list of even more theaters and ticket purchases, visit fandango.com.