Seth MacFarlane at his best.
Ted (2012): As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett's teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John's side ever since - a friendship that's tested when Lori, John's girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship.
I. Love. Seth. MacFarlane. I can quote way more Family Guy than any one individual should be capable of, and I wear this like a badge of honor. So, to say I had extremely high expectations for this film was something of an understatement. However, it not only met my expectations; it surpassed them. Yup. Despite a horrendous third act, Ted was one of my favorite comedies of 2012. The chemistry between Mark Wahlberg and Ted was incredible, Mila Kuns is charming and actually acts, Giovanni Ribisi once again delivers, the score from Walter Murphy is exceptional, and the cameos are AMAZING. So let's begin, shall we?
Let's talk about positives first. The jokes are great. They feel like old school Family Guy, and regardless of how you feel about Family Guy now, you cannot deny that that's a good thing. Old school Family Guy was hilarious. Yes, there are some Hollywood references here that even I didn't get, but I think that's kind of the point with them. And Mark Wahlberg! His chemistry is great, and there's even a fight scene between him and Ted that was exceptional to watch. After all, think about it: he was fighting nothing. That's not easy. Ted really was an exceptional bit of cinema in and of himself, and Seth MacFarlane brings him to life with charm and charisma. As I said before, the score is also exceptional. Walter Murphy is easily the most underrated composer in Hollywood. I wish he did more films. Every time I see his name as the composer I smile, because I know I'm going to get a phenomenal, Sinatra-esque score. And, of course, the cameos. There are several, and they are hysterical. One cameo is a recognizable actor showing up for literally one, non-speaking joke. So they probably showed up on set for about 15 minutes and got a big paycheck for one joke, but it may just be the best joke of the whole film. There are several actors in here from the Family Guy series, as a superfan like myself recognized them instantly. Oh, and Sam Jones is freaking hysterical. That is how you do an '80's reference!
So, let's talk about the third act. So my rule with comedies, very similar to horror, has always been if it makes me laugh, the story doesn't really matter. Well, most of the laughs all but stop in the third act. MacFarlane and company felt the need to force in a rescue mission, which was completely unnecessary, and devoid of any laughs. This, similar to Inside Out from the other week, is the result of a filmmaker not being 100% confident with the premise that is established in their film. I would've had no problem whatseover with a 106 minute story just about Ted and Wahlberg's day-to-day lives and how Mila Kunis fits in to all of it. But instead, we need a very generic, poorly executed rescue story to bring everyone together. Cli. Che. Honestly, this film is 106 minutes long, and it didn't need to be. It would've been just that much better had it been a 90 minute film.
There really isn't much else to say about this film. There isn't a lot of visual humor, which is always unfortunate, but MacFarlane's humor is just so amazing that it doesn't really matter. If you like comedies, you absolutely owe it to yourself to check this one out. It was easily one of the best comedies of 2012, and a recent high point in the wonderful career of Seth MacFarlane.
The Critique: Despite an overly cliche third act, Ted brings vintage Family Guy humor and great acting to the silver screen. One of 2012's best comedies.
The Recommendation: if you like Seth MacFarlane and you haven't seen this film yet..... well, you're wrong.
The Verdict: 8/10 Great
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