With Ted, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has stitched together the rom com and the “man child” genres for a mostly ridiculous, often offensive and occasionally funny film.
There has been a spate of man-child films in recent years – just think of anything with Adam Sandler – but Ted takes the man-child concept to another level. John (Mark Wahlberg) is 35 years old but still considers his teddy bear named Ted (cgi voiced by Seth McFarlane) to be his best buddy. As we see in the film’s prologue (a piss take of the Christmas wish movie), Ted was actually brought to life as a walking, talking teddy bear when Wahlberg as a child wished for a friend. Fast forward 27 years and Ted’s now a foul-mouthed, bong smoking, sex-maniac parasite who’s destroying Wahlberg’s life and his relationship with girlfriend Mila Kunis. When Mila says it’s either Ted or her, Wahlberg has to decide whether or not to unload his old buddy.
Like Family Guy, Ted is filled with obscene, politically incorrect gags and pop culture references some of which are thankfully pitched above the heads of 14 year old boys. Gen x-ers will enjoy the gratuitous references to the 1980 camp classic Flash Gordon not to mention the cameo from Flash himself, Sam J. Jones.
Despite its piss-taking, gross-out humour and attempted edginess, Ted still relies on rom com plot staples and characters like the yuppie slime ball who tries to sleaze onto the doufus hero’s girlfriend. As the slime ball Joel McHale is appropriately oily and delivers the best of the film’s many fart jokes.
As the nice guy hero Wahlberg ‘s tolerable but Will Ferrell or a Steve Carrell would have been much funnier. Kunis is always welcome on the cinema screen but unfortunately, isn’t given a lot to do except act annoyed at the irresponsible Wahlberg and his destructive Teddy Bear mate. Giovanni Ribisi also appears doing his usual crazy-man routine in a tacked-on subplot about a deranged dad and his son trying to kidnap Ted.
A lot of the humour in Ted, is crass and just plain childish so Oscar Wilde devotees and people who call the ABC “Auntie” should maintain a 10km radius from this film. Family Guy fans, however, will wet themselves laughing throughout the movie particularly when Wahlberg and Ted punch the snot out of each other and when Ted provides a unique demonstration of how to get ahead in business.
Nick’s rating: Two and a half stars.
Director(s): Seth MacFarlane
Release date: 5th July 2012
Running time: 106 mins.
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