Ted 2: Thunder Buddies Strike Lightning Twice
By Heather Nichols, Tawfik Zone Contributor
After A Million Ways to Die in the West I was starting to think that the first Ted movie was a fluke for McFarlane, whose humor is often hit or miss. I was pleasantly surprised that Ted 2 lived up to its predecessor. Now if crude humor is not your thing or you weren’t a fan of the first, this one isn’t going to be your cup of tea. One thing that this film does do different is pay homage to several other films, showing McFarlane’s love of cinema, a thing I think we can say all us cine-files have in common.
I’m torn between a 6 or 7 out of 10 just because I’m thinking about accessibility and this film has a whole lot of social commentary which is why I lean towards the higher rating, but it also falls into the stereotypical sequel troupes which makes me lean lower. Again it’s the kind of movie you might find filthy or you might see it as a comedic gold mine. Here’s a bit more about the film in case you wanna know, I will avoid spoilers since comedy is based on the element of surprise. But I will say there is a great cameo by one of my favorite actors in the first act that left my sides hurting from laughing so hard.
Ted 2 picks up where the last film left off, with Ted marrying Tammy-Lynn, the girl he dated in the first film. Shortly after marriage they start things get a little stale and they find themselves arguing more frequently. So they decide to try and have a baby to save their marriage but there are various problems that stand in their way, ranging from Ted’s lack of genitalia to eventually a court case to prove whether or not he is in fact a person.
Returning to the franchise is Mark Wallberg as John Bennet as Ted’s best friend. Not returning is Mila Kunis, who was pregnant during filming which might be why she was written out, making Wallberg’s character a recent divorcee. This becomes delegated to a subplot which adds to some of the more endearing moments the film offers between the dick and poop jokes. If you saw the first one, you know it’s not Ted without the vulgarity.
Social commentary is a huge part of this film. McFarlane juxtaposes Ted’s court case to gay marriage and even slavery. Something that wasn’t as prevalent in the first film. It’s not the first low-brow comedy to do this, look at Parker and Stone’s Team America World Police. But I think it’s a good thing when these films put such big issues below the potty humor surface. It shows that the screenwriters and directors really know what they’re doing and have a deeper appreciation of cinema. They know that some of their audience might be bigots who are there for the cursing Teddy bear, but maybe they’ll be able to speak to their subconscious in a way and show them that being small minded is silly.
At least I think that’s what the intention is. Although MacFarlane presents himself a bit like a jerk so I don’t know if he’s thinking that deeply about it, but I’m also pretty sure he’s on board with equality while still recognizing that pretty much anything can be used for comedy. There is a part of the film that makes a subtle jab at Ferguson, Missouri.
As mentioned MacFarlane’s love of cinema really shines through in this film, opening with a classic dance number that seemed to rip choreography from Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris. Other nods to other popular films include The Breakfast Club and Jurassic Park. There are tons more but again, avoiding ruining the gag for you. Basically if you liked the first Ted or Family Guy or any of MacFarlane’s other works, I think this will at the very least give you a laugh.