Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ted 2

I held the first Ted film at arm's length until Flash Gordon showed up. Then I was all in. Unfortunately that's all I remember about that movie, other than a hilarious scene involving a turd. Flash Gordon's in this one, too, but none of his scenes are as funny as they were in the first movie, so it's safe to say this one isn't as good.


Oh, and I hate courtroom scenes. Ted 2 spends way too much time in court. Every single joke about a courtroom has been done to death by now and these scenes always drag on. Fuck modern movies with courtroom scenes, comedies or otherwise. They all suck.

Otherwise, Ted 2 is actually pleasant if you're as hungover as I was when I saw it, at least when the jokes work (it's about 50/50). Most comedy talents should stay the hell away from movies. They often see Hollywood as little more than a career move. Richard Pryor was notorious for making movies "just because," and while he made some great ones, he made a lot more stinkers. Seth MacFarlane, on the other hand, is a good fit for movies. I think he's genuinely trying to make good movies rather than all-out laugh-fests, which often come off as forced and desperate.

I'm also the only person I know who actually enjoyed A Million Ways to Die in the West. I think it's criminally underrated. Everyone else seems to think I'm criminally insane. I wasn't a MacFarlane fan before that movie. Afterwards I wanted to see him in a lot more movies. He could be like the Woody Allen of our times... his hit/miss ratio is developing about the same, anyway.

The problem with Ted 2 is we've seen every bit of this before: The Family Guy flashback gags, the disappointingly conventional love plot, the pointless asides—it's becoming stale. I don't think the problem is MacFarlane. I think the problem is he won't be able to raise enough money to make anything else.

In the beginning of the movie, Ted marries his cashier girlfriend from the first film. Soon after, he receives a letter telling him the marriage has been nullified because he's not legally recognized as a person. This leads to him losing his job and... ugh, this is all boring, isn't it? You've seen the trailer. You already know everything you need to know.

Speaking of the trailer, it makes the movie look much worse than it actually is. Usually they show all the best parts. Ted 2's trailer manages to show some of the worst. When Ted is asked if he believes he has a soul, he breaks out into song. It's awful and cringe-inducing. Who honestly thought that was funny?

And when Ted and Mark Wahlberg end up in the sperm storage of a fertility bank, you'll sigh because you'll know exactly what's going to happen next. I don't have a problem with shock humor. I have a problem with boring humor. To call a semen fight "boring humor" is going too far because it still suggests there's humor there. There's not. Not when you see it coming from a mile away. (Uh, no pun intended.)

The best part of the franchise, other than Ted and Wahlberg's chemistry, are the special effects. They're so good you completely forget you're watching a movie that has CGI in nearly every scene. It's weird that during the two hundred million dollar Age of Ultron I was constantly wincing at the phony effects and yet Ted 2 manages to be so consistently believable, you even forget he's a talking teddy bear. But that's part of the problem: it's not nearly as funny when the talking teddy bear is just another human character. There's nothing special about it anymore.

Anyway, Ted 2 is worth watching if you're into that kind of thing, but I wouldn't pay for it if I were you. Not unless you're really desperate for something new to watch. Or really, really hungover.

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