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TED – Movie Review

Seth MacFarlane has been pretty hit or miss for me over the years.  I’ve certainly enjoyed episodes of his shows Family Guy and American Dad, while others are lazily written, beating a joke, that wasn’t funny from the start, dead into the ground.  I was interested to see what he could do with his first feature film, Ted.  And it’s safe to say that it has both MacFarlane’s strengths and weaknesses as a comedian.

The film follows John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a thirty-something who is happily in love with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis).  However, the one roadblock in their relationship that keeps Lori unhappy is John’s best friend Ted, who lives with them (voiced by Seth MacFarlane).  Oh, by the way, he’s a pot-smoking teddy bear from John’s childhood.

There is a fair share of jokes in Ted that really work.  Not surprisingly, the humor here strongly resembles other MacFarlane properties, and the best parts of those shows, which are the best parts here, are the clever jokes that require some thinking to fully get them.  There are references all over the place here, from the 1980s movie Flash Gordon to Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  Some of the references, though, can get a bit too obvious and feel like they’re trying too hard for a laugh.  Unfortunately, the first half of the movie had a lot of these scenes.

I also enjoyed the performances all around.  Mark Wahlberg is an incredibly likeable star, and it’s fun seeing him not take himself too seriously, reminiscent to his performance in 2010’s The Other Guys.  His banter with Ted is extremely entertaining to watch, and I give him credit for convincingly acting alongside a CGI-created character.  MacFarlane is essentially playing Peter Griffin here, but he delivers some of the funniest deadpan humor out there, and sells most of the movie’s funniest jokes.

In addition to the numerous jokes that fall flat, the film also feels slightly too long.  There are a lot of different storylines going on, and it took a bit too long to wrap up each of them for my taste.

Overall, while it’s a tad underwhelming, Ted is still an enjoyable comedy and one worth seeing with a big crowd.


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