By Aaron Smith
Ted 2, directed, written and produced by Seth MacFarlane, is an outright embarrassing failure, and the perfect movie...if you're 14 years old.
Just to catch you up to speed: Ted 2 follows the titular teddy bear as he attempts to have a child with Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). After she proves infertile, they try to adopt and it leads to Ted fighting for his rights to be labeled as a person and not property. They enlist Samantha (Amanda Seyfried, aged 29, who has a 44 year old love interest) to defend Ted, which essentially turns Ted 2 into a road trip comedy.
It's a film that shouldn't exist in the first place: the novelty of a teddy bear smoking pot with Mark Wahlberg would've made a great cutaway on Family Guy, but a feature film, let alone two, is a stretch. But, instead of crafting a narrative, MacFarlane clumsily clips along with musical numbers and low-brow comedy. He doesn't try to attempt any real structure, he just throws shit at the wall and see what sticks.
Walking into this film, I knew what was in store. I've seen the first Ted. We all have. But it's not that MacFarlane's humor doesn't work--it's just that 90 percent is recycled humor you can find on any episode of Family Guy. Cheap shots at masturbation, weed and Bill Cosby means that this is a 14-year old's perfect movie. If you're a 9/11 truther and you're in the eighth grade, you might find some enjoyment in Ted 2. But almost everything about Ted 2 is unfunny, precisely the opposite of comedic intent.
And it's not the rather repetitive storyline, either. It runs at a brisk 115 minutes, but feels much longer in its last third-act run-up. But the closer you examine the hollowness of Ted 2, the more your soul will sink into the abyss. In the third act, there is an entire 15-minute sequence built around New York Comic-Con. It's a desperate attempt at a set piece. The ending replicates the first Ted. Well, it all is an echo of what could've been. But, there is a moment where Ted recreates the car piano scene from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and that reminded me how stale and unoriginal Ted 2 really is, to copy off others but not muster anything of its own.
However, I did laugh. Twice. And those don't qualify as laughs, they count as throwaway chuckles, out of regret, for buying a ticket to Ted 2.