Box Office Democracy: Ted 2
I was disappointed by Ted 2 and considering I didn’t think much of the original Ted I’m not sure where the hell I get off feeling like this. Ted was a flimsy frame upon which a few passable jokes were hung and Ted 2 is a slightly flimsier frame with fewer decent jokes but it makes a huge difference as Ted 2 collapses into joyless wreckage. It’s a lot like watching five back-to-back episodes of Family Guy without commercials in a dark room that you’re socially conditioned not to leave or do anything else in but watch the screen. I guess what I’m saying is Ted 2 is an awful lot like a nightmare you can’t wake up from.
Good comedy has to come from some sort of relatable character base and that simply isn’t present in Ted 2. The characters are just whatever they need to be to get the next punch line to work and have no consistency from scene to scene beyond Boston accents. Amanda Seyfried replaces Mila Kunis as the female lead and narratively we go from a woman disappointed that Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg) have no ambition in their lives to a woman who finds John to be a real catch despite his only character traits present in this film are being really hung up on his ex and consuming a copious amount of pornography. I suppose the shrewish girlfriend is a slightly more tired cliché than the inexplicable attraction to a loser trope but it isn’t fantastic work. Giovanni Ribisi returns as the villainous Donny who I had completely forgotten from the first movie because that movie also felt like it never had any stakes so why would anyone bother to retain any of the information? If Ted 3 comes along in three years I certainly won’t remember John Carroll Lynch played the bad guy in this movie an I think Lynch is a fantastic underrated actor unfortunately wasting his time here.
Setting aside the thin characters and the plot that doesn’t seem to care enough about its own integrity or consistency to even be worth seriously discussing the movie just isn’t that funny. I’m not going to say I never laughed but I’m sure I laughed fewer than ten times. It’s comedy that wants to get laughs by being shocking either by being gross or being inappropriate or sometimes even by being obscure and I’m not sure Seth MacFarlane is capable of surprising me in these ways anymore. I’m too on my guard to not see every race joke coming and I’m now too familiar with his childhood pop culture to laugh uproariously when they use a song from Revenge of the Nerds for their musical montage. I’m sure this does much better among a younger audience who are probably still sitting through their first million smoking weed jokes but if you’ve seen more than your fair share there’s nothing new or exciting here and unfortunately that applies to most of the material.