TED Film Review
Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:09 pm
Let me break this down for you quickly: if you don’t like Family Guy or American Dad, then you simply won’t like this film. But read on for the full TED Film Review.
MacFarlane has a noticeable style in all of his previous works, barring of course his jazz album, of being incredibly offensive with his humour and relying a great deal on cutaway gags that distract from the plot. Of course, this has worked phenomenally well with his cartoons, which have developed a widespread following, but its ability to translate to a live action movie is most certainly dubious. Having said that, in Ted he has done a great job at staying away (as much as appears possible) from his comfort zone and tried to make a proper film…
A young boy, John Bennett (Wahlberg), makes a Christmas wish as a lonely child, that his teddy bear, the titular Ted (MacFarlane), will come to life and be his best friend for ever and ever. Everyone knows that there is nothing more powerful than a young boy’s wish (except an apache helicopter), and his wish comes true. Fast forward 20 odd years and the young boy is now a 30-something still always accompanied by his best friend, the teddy bear.
The story follows John and Ted, and is a sort of buddy, coming of age flick, charting the relationships between the two main men and John’s girlfriend Lori (Kunis). Poor John is caught between his bear and his bird, one wanting to move forwards in life, the other firmly keeping him mired in his past. Its not hard to actually make a connection with John, as we all have that friend that seemingly wants to stay young and immature forever – if you can’t figure out which of your friends that is, its probably you (da da dum! – Joe). Plus, Ted is quite a convincing little character, without the constant references to him being a bear, it wouldn’t be too hard to see him as a real person.
Praise aside, the story line is weak, contrived at times, and often just a vehicle for throwing in the jokes. But at the end of the day, this is a comedy and as long as those jokes are making you laugh, the film obviously has something going for it. More often than not, those jokes are barbed and offensive, and whether they are hitting the mark or not, you are only another mere moment away that another will come along and make you chuckle at the very least. The dialogue between Ted and John is great, and is a testament to the voice acting ability of Wahlberg and MacFarlane, which is possibly the most enjoyable element of the film.
Considerable chunks of the film appear to be filled with a lot of self-indulgent 80’s movie references, mostly regarding Flash Gordon. Although there is one cutaway that is a full recreation from the dance scene in Airplane! which is without doubt the oddest joke. Sadly the young audience perhaps couldn’t make the connection to the classic from which it is stolen, and I was more offended by this than the rip-off itself.
MacFarlane, voicing Ted, has made a good effort at a film which will amuse you for the most part and leave you wondering why you stayed in your seat for the final 15-20 minutes. As I started, if you like Family Guy and American Dad, you’ll love this, the cameos, the cutaways, the offensive humour and the in-jokes. This film really relies on its humour, because without it, its just a weird assed film about a guy and his talking bear… If you don’t like American Dad or Family Guy, you really should stay away from this film as it’ll make you want to stick pins in your eyes.
I did like it. I laughed a lot… I love Flash Gordon because its terrible, and it was most amusing to see Sam Jones sending up himself. I loved the 80s references. I loved the obscure jokes and the weird unwarranted cameos. It may just be the funniest film of the year, but not for all.
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