What happens when you cross Peter Griffin with Rupert the teddy bear from Family guy? The answer is Seth McFarlane’s latest movie entitled Ted, which is a movie about a teddy bear that comes to life. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed countless episodes of Family Guy and American Dad, but the first scene in the trailer where Ted (McFarlane) is smoking a bong already painted a big warning on this movie. An even bigger surprise for me was seeing Mark Wahlberg participating in this film, apparently trading the strong male role for something a little more childish. Regardless sit back and relax as I give you some insight into the movie known as Ted.
I’ll start off by warning everyone that if you don’t like the Family Guy series, than this is not the movie for you. From the start of the movie there are plenty of classic jokes, mannerisms, and vulgar actions that are sure to offend multiple people. Unlike the television series though, in this R rated movie the censorship gloves have come off and McFarlane’s vulgarity is left unhindered. Without any restrictions, McFarlane decided to focus on drug comedy to an even more inappropriate extent. Seeing a child’s toy constantly smoke weed, drink alcohol, and make constant sexual limericks gets a little weird and inappropriate at times. On top of that, McFarlane’s racist jokes are back in full force and he leaves almost no ethnicity left untouched, sometimes stepping over the line. The other downfall of no censorship is that the comedy is not as clever or creative as it is in family guy, as the drug humor is fairly shallow and repetitive. Naturally with the lack of censorship also came the F word, and just about everyone in the cast was happy to drop these bombs left and right. As many rated R movies tend to do, Ted uses the F word to a level where it is no longer funny, but instead annoying. In a nutshell the comedy of this movie is meant mainly for those who enjoy crude humor mixed with immature, unbelievable, stunts that.
However, McFarlane still caters to some other comedy styles at various points in the movie that were funny, usually due to a random insult of Ted. The Teddy Bear had some one-liners that were rather clever, or at least ridiculously delivered that you couldn’t help but laugh. Even some of his antics were funny, in particular the imitations of countless celebrities. Of course being a movie fan as I am, the clever integration of countless movie references with the other rants was rather funny and gave Rango a run for its money. Even some of the flashback scenes that McFarlane made famous in Family Guy make an appearance in this movie helping to provide some extra laughs while simultaneously providing a break from the drug humor.
Aside from the comedy though there are a few other things I thought were well done in this movie. Although I find it shocking that Mark Wahlberg would play such a role, he convinced me of being a 35 year old man-child. I don’t know if it was the constant whiny tone in his voice, or his childish actions/dialog, but Wahlberg did a nice job conveying how scared he was of growing up. Countering his childish nature was Mila Kunis who not only looks good as she always does, but actually plays a mature role in this flick. If you’re a girl or a guy who has finished drooling over her gorgeous face and body, you may appreciate the seriousness of her role. Kunis helps to drive the moral of the story while still providing a few zingers that had me chuckling from time to time. Even a few of the extras have some funny moments, typically they are stupid or unreal, but still they are funny.
There are a few other positives to this film; the first that comes to mind is animation of Ted. For a guy who has only done cartoon animation, I’m impressed with the CGI work of Ted. Throughout the entire movie, the teddy bear moves without any flaws, glitches, or lags and at times seems to look not digital at all. Yes many audience members for this movie could care less, but for me I can’t help but say well done to the animation team. The actors also helped integrate the pixelated bear into the scenes, using their skills to react to Ted as if he were a prop standing right next to them. A second positive is that despite a rather predictable and shallow story, there was a good moral that hit home with me. That moral focuses on growing up and that we all have to do it sooner or later, or face the consequences of never living a true life. My words make it sound corny, but for those who keep an open mind during the movie you may experience a light bulb moment or reminisce on a growing up moment.
Ted is essentially a glorified, uncensored Family Guy episode that is a good stress reliever movie, especially if you’ve just finished an Organic Chemistry class. Yet the lack of censorship allowed McFarlane to be a little bit lazier on his comedic style, which somehow led to me being drowned in drug humor. If that is what you want, check this film out this weekend and have a laugh. However, I think this movie can wait for Netflix and you’ll get more laughs by watching Family Guy instead. The scores for the movie are the following:
Movie Overall: 5.5
Tune in tomorrow for some reviews on the other movies that have come out and as always enjoy.