After a toe-curling turn hosting the Oscars in 2013, and the disappointing reception for last year’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted 2 confirms that Seth MacFarlane really is nowhere near as funny as he thinks.
Returning to an idea that had run its course by the end of 2012’s original (“the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time”, apparently), Ted 2 adds a dash of mawkish sub-Capra self-justification to the usual cocktail of spunk, weed and porn gags. With his marriage to Tami-Lynn in trouble, talking bear Ted finds his existence threatened when the state rules that he is not a person and therefore has no rights. Teaming up with stoner lawyer Samantha L Jackson (Amanda Seyfried), perennial wastrel John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) promises to take his case to the highest court in the land, possibly with the help of Morgan Freeman’s civil rights attorney.
Although there are a few politically incorrect chuckles, most are wholly independent of the narrative, and would have been better utilised as appended outtakes on a Family Guy box set. Walter Murphy’s overworked score runs the gamut from comic gurning to syrupy sincerity, perfectly in tune with the movie.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010