Ted 2 is a strange movie to write about. Why? Well, when I wrote about the first Ted (2012, my review here), I mentioned how surprised I was by the fact it’s fever jokes and more story than I expected from Seth MacFarlane. And with Ted 2, it’s the total opposite. Yes, there is still a narrative that drives everything forward, but it’s way more predictable, and it almost feels like there are no stakes. And that is compensated with more jokes that will remind you that Seth is the same guy who created Family Guy (1999 – ?). Because most of the jokes in this film are just random, nonsensical things. Almost cutaway scenes, the same as in Family Guy. And here’s the weird thing – I still like this sequel, as much as I like the original movie.
It’s impressive that somebody can “simply” switch to more random comedy bits but still somehow ground it in a resemblance of a story (Ted fighting to be acknowledged as a person) and for this film to feel familiar yet different at the same time. It almost felt like Seth cracked the sequel formula, where he gave us everything we were familiar with from the original Ted (except Mila Kunis, who was pregnant at the time, that’s why she wasn’t part of this film), but went with the more random approach. I know some people hate this comedy because they think it’s easy. The truth is, it can be done badly because random does not equal funny. But there is something about the way Seth does it in Family Guy and in this film that simply works for me.
Ted 2 is a sequel that is tonally so different it makes it almost unique. I remember watching it in the cinema when it came out and thinking: “Hey, that wasn’t bad.” But the general response was lower than for the original Ted. And I think that has nothing to do with the quality of the movie, but possibly with the fact that the unexpected became expected. Let me explain – a lot of people went to see the first Ted movie not knowing what they were in for. So they were surprised (most of them pleasantly) that there was a funny comedy with a unique concept. And with Ted 2, the surprise (teddy bear, who drinks, smokes weed, and bangs hookers) no longer works because people knew what to expect. So the expectation might have been a bit too high for this film. I have recently re-watched it, and I can say it plays just as well as the first time. And especially watching it back to back with the first movie made me realise how similar yet different these two films are.
Who stole the movie for me was Amanda Seyfried. Her Sam L. Jackson character was just a great mix of the “straight” character, who knew exactly how to react. What I have appreciated the most was how she played the same-ish character, effectively replacing Mila and being the new love interest for Mark Wahlberg, but she played it differently. Because unlike Mila, who was by far the smartest out of that trio (her, Mark, Ted), Amanda’s character might not be the sharpest tool in or even outside the shed. However, Amanda portrayed her in a way that was endearing but also believable. Is her character a bit slow sometimes? Yes. But does she have a huge heart (and Gollum like eyes) in the right place? Also yes. Plus, her character never goes “fully” stupid. That’s always a risk of playing somebody who isn’t 100% switched on. Some actors decide to take those characters over the line, where it stops being funny. But not Amanda. Her Sam character was believable, funny and charming. She made that look way easier than it is portraying this character this way. I honestly think Amanda Seyfried is just an overall underrated actress, and she isn’t given enough credit, especially for her comedy chops.
As with the previous film, my only complaint is its predictability. Especially in this film, which is focused more on jokes than the story, the “formula” is more visible. Also, the fact we had to bring the villain from the first movie back (even though I still loved the way Giovanni Ribisi portrays the character of Donny) and almost force him into the film wasn’t necessary. It worked overall, but it didn’t feel as natural, is what I am trying to say.
Overall, Ted 2 might seem like it’s pretty much the same movie as Ted, but that’s not true. It goes much deeper into the “random/cutaway” comedy Seth is more known for, and the story that’s trying to comment on civil rights goes into the background because of it. But it doesn’t feel like a “cheap” sequel that was made “just because”. It gives you enough variety to make it easy to watch plenty of jokes still work, Amanda Seyfried was a great addition, and there is one surprise cameo in the middle of the movie, and after the credits, that’s just cherry on top of the cake. I won’t name the actor, just in case you don’t know, but it’s a proper A list celebrity in one of those random jokes. That is where this movie truly shines, and if you are on board with those, you will enjoy this movie.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,