Introducing Ted, a foul mouthed, sex crazed, drug addict bachelor with a fondness for 80’s cartoons, quite a dislikable character. However that is negated by the fact Ted is a anthropomorphic Teddy Bear. Once one foggy christmas night an 8 year old boy, John (Mark Wahlberg) dreamed that his Teddy Bear became real. This became reality because ‘Nothing is more powerful than a young boys wish’ proclaimed by the rich golden tones of Patrick Stewart whilst narrating the film.
Perhaps as Ted is voiced by Seth MacFarlane certain constructs are expected. Fart jokes, casual racism and flashbacks that have become the staple of Family Guy since it’s creation. It’s a good start for a film that very much relies on that particular style. It’s clear that the film is not trying to be Citizen Cane.
Don’t get me wrong I am not blinkered to the merits of the film. Ted appeals to a crowd that expects a certain brand of cheap laughs fulfilling that necessity and sometimes bordering on the hilarious. However a key principle to the film cripples Ted towards mediocrity. The humor relies on Ted completing vices that are not associated to something as innocent as a teddy bear. Anything that Ted can do is diffused comedically because it relies on this transgression. Ted could be saved by this by some clever and funny writing. Although the film is obviously not well written.
The acting is again not important due to the simplistic script and this certainly suits Wahlberg whose inclusion as a leading man is about as misplaced as an appointment of Tiger Woods for the president of the American Celibacy Club. He struggles through the film with one base emotion level ironically pointed out by Family Guy as annoyed and confused. Whilst Seth MacFarlane voices Ted brilliantly. Mina Kunis breaks her obvious role as eye candy with a decent consistent performance.
Ted is a decent feel good movie. It’s frustration lies in it’s potential. It could be so much better but decides to fall in the category of safety. It seems to follow a trend towards sloppy and predictable films, games and books. Because production companies have not tried to remedy the poor market by producing even better content. They have however decided to always turn toward the safe option, the option that doesn’t care about reviews. Ted will undoubtedly sell a lot of seats but will never be called a great film by a man to his family close to the comfort of his fireside. Would I recommend this film to my friends? Yes I would although not for what it is but for the reminder of what it could be. I therefore cannot bring myself to give Ted (as cute as he may be) anything more than two roses of five although perhaps (for reasons explained afore) contradictory, I would recommend watching it.