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Saturday
Jun302012

Movie Review: 'Ted'

Ted

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis

Directed by JSeth Macfarlane

Rated R

   

 

When I walk into a movie like Ted, I truly have only one requirement:  It needs to make me laugh.  If it does that, then I can forgive the shortcomings the movie will have in other departments.  Fail to make me laugh, well those shortcomings become so glaringly obvious, so frustratingly irritating, the movie suddenly becomes your mortal enemy.  Ted is also a movie that comes with caveat and his name is Seth MacFarlane.  Macfarlane has his fans, devoted ones in fact and he also has just as many critics who have no problem calling him talentless. 

I don’t consider myself a fan of MacFarlane’s and save for the first 3 or 4 seasons of Family Guy; I’m not a huge fan of the show.  Ted is pretty much a two hour episode of Family Guy:  Mark Wahlberg is Peter, Ted is Brian and Mila Kunis is Lois. If you’re a huge fan of the Family Guy, then you just might find yourself enjoying the Ted experience.  But what about guys like myself, is Ted going to succeed in winning me over and satisfy my one requirement of just making me laugh?  Will I get my just desserts Seth Macfarlane?

The premise of Ted is simple enough; a young friendless John Bennett gets a stuffed teddy bear for Christmas and wishes the bear would come alive so he could have a friend.  BOOM…the bear comes alive.  Ted (voiced by Macfarlane) gains some popularity because he is a talking teddy bear, but with flame a fleeting thing, the movie cuts to 18 years later and shows Ted and John (Wahlberg) sitting around watching TV and getting high.  Ted lives with John and John’s prototypical too good to be true girlfriend Lori (Kunis).  John wants to grow up, be more of an adult and spend the rest of his life with Lori, but he’s constantly harangued by Ted and Ted’s frat house ways. 

Simple enough right?  So now the main function of the movie is to make me laugh.  But the problem with Ted is it relies too much on the shock value that seeing a teddy bear get high, curse and party with hookers is good enough.  Those laughs only go so far.  You have a movie with a walking talking teddy bear, the possibilities are endless.  But Ted doesn’t use those possibilities, instead putting the titular character into this bubble of shock and awe and leaving him there.  Don’t get me wrong, a couple of the jokes hit their mark and they each got a huge laugh out of me, but it leaves you wanting more.

The movie tries to expand it’s scope of possibilities.  It tries with the relationship between John and Lori, but their development never reaches anything beyond your standard rom-com storyline.  Both Wahlberg and Kunis are charming enough and Wahlberg actually plays really well off of Ted, but I really didn’t care about them.  The story also has Ted getting his own apartment (after Lori gives John an ultimatum regarding their relationship and Ted’s involvement) and a job at a grocery store.  Unfortunately in the end, all of these opportunities are squandered as is the subplot involving Ted being kidnapped, that one they should have left on the cutting room floor.

Ted also hangs it hat on a ton of 80’s pop culture and Star Wars references, which is fine…in moderation.   But the movie feels content to live in that nostalgia.  Believe me when I say this movie could’ve been comedy gold, but Macfarlane and crew obviously felt too content to push themselves into making an edgy, offbeat comedy involving a talking teddy bear living in the real world.  Watching a teddy bear smoke pot and talk and curse like a sailor has its value, but when that’s all you have, the movie loses its charm real fast.  I won’t call Ted a disaster, but I won’t call it entertaining either. 

Reader Comments (8)

wow, you are the worst movie reviewer in the world.. i dont even base a movie off of movie reviews becuase everyone has there own taste.. but your review is horrible. you should find another line of work.

Saturday, June 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterspike

Wow, I'm the worst movie reviewer in the world? That means I'm the best at being the worst. Not everyone can say they're number 1 at something. Thanks Spike!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercraig dietz

Actually i find Mr. Dietz's reviews very accurate. I know that when i am a fan of a movie i want everyone to like it so bad just as much as me but that isn't possible. I've found that instead of worrying about whether a critic liked the movie, instead try to really analyze what they say the movie does well and what it's flaws are. If you know that the you can ignore the flaws or the good outweighs the bad, then you know that you have a movie that you may enjoy. I remember the review that Mr. Dietz wrote for Rock of Ages was 100% accurate. All i was looking for from that movie was a talented cast who could really nail the covers of the music i grew up listening to and take me back to my childhood and maybe throwing in a few laughs. That is exactly what i got and it is my 2nd favorite movie of the summer behind The Avengers. Thank you Mr. Dietz for being very detailed when explaining the good and the bad in all your reviews. It does help out some of us who are trying to figure out whether or not a film is going to be worth our viewing time. To be honest a lot of critics do bash movies they don't like and automatically assume that because they think it is terrible, everyone else must hate it too. You give us a chance to decide on our own by laying out what we may or may not like about each movie. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKing of the World

Why would this site have someone who isn't a fan of Family Guy or Seth MacFarlane review this movie? Stupidity! Every time i read a review on this site it's from someone who dislikes the movie or the main actor. What the hell is wrong with you guys?

I saw this on Friday. It was so damn funny! And don't just take my word for it. Talk to everyone else but this reviewer. Because i missed a lot of the jokes due to all the laughter coming from around me. I will be seeing this again very soon.

Hey getthebigpicture.net. Let me know when you want someone with a brain to start reviewing movies for your site. I got some free time and i'm not full of hatred.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

King of the World: David Hoffman wrote the Rock of Ages review, but I can understand the confusion since we have so many decent reviewers here.

Phil: We don't hate every movie. Seth MacFarlane has two kinds of fans, those who love his work and those that don't. Those that fall into the latter aren't going to enjoy his movies. Simple as that. Ted looks hilarious to me, but I can understand they're being different opinions regarding his low brow comedy.

Monday, July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Fancher

Just because someone doesn't like a movie doesn't automatically mean the reviewer has some sort of hatred toward a particular director or actor. I don't like Family Guy but that doesn't mean I hate American Dad. Ted, to me, had a lot of opportunities that were simply missed and for that, I didn't like the movie.

Monday, July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercraig dietz

The movie is about a TALKING TEDDY BEAR for crying out loud! This movie has one goal in mind - to make people laugh. For me (and I lot of other people) this movie had me laughing from the beginning. I know who Seth Mcfarlane is and have seen Family Guy but am not a huge die hard fan and I still enjoyed this movie.

Monday, July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

So i went and saw this today! It was a lot better than "That's My Boy" but just like that movie it was missing something. I did like it and some parts had me rolling but it seems like a lot of it had been done before. It was like Family Guy, Team America and the movie Paul all rolled into one. @ Phil why does someone who likes Seth MacFarlane have to write the review? It's not like they are the only people permitted to spend their money on this movie. What about the people who aren't obsessed with Family Guy, they should be allowed to know that this movie is nothing spectacular. It's obvious that the people who love Family Guy are going to love this movie and the ones that don't might not. I like Family Guy but am not obsessed with it and this movie was just OK for me. Like i said it's a step above That's My Boy but nothing like some of the comedy's from last year that had me in tears laughing

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKing of the World

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