Thunder Buddies for life
Whenever a sequel comes along, the first thought anyone has is that it’ll be like the first one, although not as good. Thankfully, this doesn’t hold true with Ted 2. The story follows Ted and Mark Wahlberg’s character John as Ted attempts to fight the legal system to prove he is a person, not property, in order to adopt a child with his newlywed wife. Along the way they face more than their fair share of hijinks making for a very funny two hours.
In the rare cases where an actor or actress is unable to reprise their role, it makes a sequel feel a bit hollow. It’s as if one of the key ingredients that made the previous film work, is now gone. However, this isn’t the case in Ted 2 where Mila Kunis’ character, which she could not reprise, is written off and replaced by a new character, played by Amanda Seyfried. She proved to be rather funny, mostly through her well-acted reactions and expressions. She plays very well off of Ted and Mark, who themselves came off rather well. Amanda has surpassed her predecessor and more than makes up for her absence.
Seth MacFarlane, who wrote and directed this film, managed to avoid the various pitfalls that come along with making a comedy sequel and has created a genuinely funny movie. He brings back popular characters from the previous film, but doesn’t try the same old jokes hoping for a laugh with a reference to the original. Rather, he gives these characters a new life and adds a new dimension that doesn’t conflict with who they are. In addition to this, he makes very good use of recurring jokes in the movie, adding a new, funnier angle each time. In most examples, cameos are cheap cop-outs that require little writing for a quick laugh. Ted 2 sports some of the funniest cameos I have seen in quite some time, producing genuine laughs. Seth creates very funny scenes that are a bit random, but don’t feel out of place and draw real laughs from the audience.
As expected, the film is comprised of a very generous amount of phallic humor, but doesn’t confine itself to that. It takes cues from and parodies many contemporary pop culture references, from the Kardashians to Google. Even for an R-rated comedy, it is a very edgy film. While at moments it may seem a tad clichéd, the use of almost constant humor playfully adds a new angle and avoids becoming trite. MacFarlane has taken the buddy comedy concept and with the addition of a talking teddy bear, has made it something all his own. A thunder buddy comedy, if you will. Fans of the first movie will be delighted by this improved sequel and those who didn’t particularly enjoy the first one may find themselves pleasantly surprised.
The film hits theaters this Friday.