Thursday 25 June 2015

Ted 2 ... Bear-ing the consequences

THE novelty of a foul-mouthed living teddy bear has worn off by now, but the sequel, Ted 2, delves  into an area that I applaud whole-heartedly.
   Writer-director Seth MacFarlane asks viewers whether Ted is a sentient thing (human) or is it a property of the state. In effect, MacFarlane, who also voices Ted, is asking what makes a human different from inanimate objects.

    This is a theme that is prevalent in science-fiction films. For example, in Blade Runner(1982 ), the film postulates that a robot isn't human because it doesn't have the capacity to have memories. In Warm Bodies (2013),  a zombie who eats human brains can absorb the dead person's memories, thus, transforming it into a human.
   The heart of the two Ted films is always about Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg). Their friendship is what keeps these films ticking.
   Ted 2, while raucous and enjoyable, sometimes chews off more than what it can swallow. There's are two court scenes, Morgan Freeman playing a lawyer, ComicCon (a comic convention) and a janitor who wants to cut Ted up into two.
    I enjoyed some of the gags and jokes, but I felt the film crammed too much into it. This, therefore, diluted Ted 2's strengths. For example, Liam Neeson makes an appearance as someone wanting to buy a box of cereal in the supermarket at which Ted works.
    Neeson, who appeared in MacFarlane's flop A Million Ways To Die In The West (2014), speaks in his usual raspy voice, and I'm wondering what the heck the guy's doing in this film.
    Ted marries pretty blonde Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) in an inspiring ceremony, but they're at loggerheads with each other a year later, arguing over work, food and sex, the usual things most married couples fight about.
  Ted suggests that they should adopt a child to save their marriage. Ted, as you know, can't fornicate with a human. I wish they'd been more jokes or caustic comments about sex being missing from their relationship.
    A court determines that Ted can't adopt because he's not a person, but is rather a property, meaning he has no rights. 
   Despicable janitor Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) hatches a plan with a toymaker executive to abduct Ted once he's declared a property. Donny plans to cut open Ted to see what makes him tick.
     John's been divorced for a while, but he can't get his heart back into the game. The film coughs up Samantha (Amanda Seyfried), a trainee lawyer handling her first case. Sparks fly between John and Samantha, although I can't figure out why they'd be together.
   Seyfried, who sang in Mamma Mia!, gets to do it again in Ted 2.
3 out of 5 stars

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