MacFarlane's fall from relevance Realized
This....is sad. It's sad that the only way I can defend a Seth MacFarlane film is by saying it's not as bad as A Million Ways to Die in the West, a film so bad that I struggled through some tears to finish it. Yes. Tears. Why tears? Because I love Seth MacFarlane. He is the number one person in show business that I want to buy a beer and have a crazy evening with. I think MacFarlane is the funniest person in the world. I do. I really do. I have seasons 1-6 of Family Guy practically memorized, and I still quote it with regularity. His brilliant cutaways to something completely irrelevant to the overarching story are, when they work, brilliant. But they add insult to injury when they don't work. Well, they did work in Ted 1. MacFarlane's directorial debut, Ted was hilarious and, despite a messy third act, one of my favorite comedies of 2012. Ted....is seasons 1-6 of Family Guy. A Million Ways to Die in the West was just a mess, like modern Family Guy-no energy, no edge, just a bland convoluted pile of garbage. Well, Ted 2 is not that. Not quite. But pretty damn close. Ted 2 is.....season 8 of Family Guy. You've seen the show go downhill for a season now, and you really hope it comes back.....but it doesn't. Ted 2 is just more of the same from Ted 1. However, it's missing the energy and the edginess its predecessor had. Ted 2.....and it pains me to say this, but.....Ted 2 is cashing in.
Well, what does this film do right? On the bright side, this is the single best performance I've seen from Amanda Seyfried. Mostly because she's asked to be pretty much the smartest person in the room. I feel like Amanda Seyfried is actually an insanely intelligent person. I'm convinced she runs a think tank that's trying to discover the God Particle or something, she just doesn't want everyone to know for fear of us "judging her" or something. Because she always plays the dumb blonde in every film she's in, and she always does it so poorly. Then, she does a smart role, and she nails it! Logic right? Well, she's just about the coolest lawyer ever let me tell ya. Ummmmm what else....there are a few good jokes. One joke was a musical joke so obviously I lost it at that point. I thought the musical joke was the best joke of the entire 115-minute film, but I might be a little biased. However, even unbiased me says....ya. You'll agree with me. It was the best joke of the film. I guess the cameos are good, too. There are a couple of them, including Sam Jones reprising his role (it's in all the trailers so it's not really a cameo) and I won't spoil the big one for you, which occurs early on. However this time, they're just cameos for the sake of cameos. The big cameo is funny, but they ultimately aren't integrated into the plot in any way because of course they aren't. Just gotta check "cameos" off the list, right?
Sooooo let's talk about negatives. First off! Seth MacFarlane is sexist as hell in this film. Every single female character in this film is objectified nonstop. Even Amanda Seyfried is oogled at for most of the film by Ted and Wahlberg's character. This is getting really old, Hollywood. I wouldn't buy for a second that someone who is as smart as Seyfried's character would fall for a moron like Wahlberg, so why force in a love story just so Wahlberg can "get the girl?" MacFarlane: you could've made Seyfried's character like a badass smart lawyer who doesn't have time for guys, and made fun of Wahlberg trying to get her to fall in love with him. That would've been hilarious. But no. Forced love story. Because....yes. And oh! You think it ends there? It doesn't end there. Oh no! The other main female character, Ted's wife Tami-Lynn (lol white trash names but that's a Ted 1 joke) is objectified from start to finish, and basically the ONLY other two female characters in this film AT ALL want to sleep with Wahlberg. Well, ok, there is another female character who shoots down an advance from Wahlberg, but she does it with the ol' "I have a boyfriend excuse." You know. Cause we can't go out on a limb and have her say, "No. Because I'm too good for you." This really has to stop, Hollywood. We saw it in Hot Pursuit earlier this year too! I think in the comedy genre the sexism is far worse than it is elsewhere, because those filmmakers have the audacity to hide behind the veils of humor and say, "well you're not supposed to take it seriously because it's a comedy." NO. Stop hiding and own up to your actions guys. What's even worse is the fact that this is Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane is a huge liberal, and has, on multiple occasions, used his fame to fight for women's causes. But then he goes and directs sexist sh*t like this? C'MON.
......ok. So that turned into a bit of a rant. Sorry about that. Anyway, that isn't the only thing that's wrong with this film. The third act....is essentially the EXACT same as Ted 1's third act. Mess and all. Except this time, we're at New York Comic-Con instead of Fenway woo!!!! Isn't that a major difference? Doesn't the setting just change EVERYTHING? It even.....it even has Giovanni Ribisi, who is AGAIN massively underused. He isn't as underused as he was in Ted 1, but it's damn close. I guess just this time he pretends to be someone else to gain Ted's trust, which I guess requires a bit more acting than just being the weird guy who wants a teddy bear. But, that's really the biggest complaint I can make about this film: it's Ted 1. It's the same film. Just, with a bit of writing to explain why Amanda Seyfried is in the film and not Mila Kunis. You know, at the time, I gave Mila Kunis a hard time for skipping Ted 2 to be in Jupiter Ascending. Because boy did that film suck. But I got news for you, Mila: you didn't miss much.
This film....this film is the perfect summary of MacFarlane's long hard fall from grace, and from relevance. I really want to see some vintage family guy make a return. I saw glimpses of it here. There was one really sharp satire on modern 24-hour news networks that brought back memories of the glory days of MacFarlane. There's still greatness left in you, my friend. I still want to buy you a beer and get into shenanigans. That evening would still be the greatest evening of my life. But, that buried greatness is nowhere to be found in Ted 2. Someday....
The Critique: Ted 2 is the exact same as its predecessor, minus the edginess and energy that made the original great. While Amanda Seyfried shines, the few laughs in Ted 2 are not worthy of either your time or attention.
The Recommendation: ummmmm if you're a diehard Seth MacFarlane fan it's worth checking out, otherwise stay away.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 4/10 Below Average