Ted is Coming
Sam J. Jones
Running Time: 106 minutes
US Certificate: 15 UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
When John (Wahlberg) was a child he received a teddy bear for Christmas and he made a wish, as most kids do, that his teddy would come alive and be his best friend for ever and ever. Surprisingly, this wish came true and fast forward twenty-five years or so and John is still best mates with a beer-swigging, inappropriate joke-cracking teddy bear (voiced by the film’s director and writer Seth MacFarlane). If that had happened to me when I was a kid I’d have had a talking, squirming octopus as my best mate so I probably wouldn’t have been too sane right now. Anyway, John’s got a girlfriend too (Kunis) and it comes to the point where he has to choose between her and his best friend.
In terms of acting, Marky Mark and Mila Kunis don’t come off too badly and cope well with the CGI bear (what would have been wrong with an anamatronic one or a puppet?). However, the star of the show is undoubtedly Ryan Reynolds in a cameo role and the opening thespian narrative from Patrick Stewart is excellent and really gets your hopes up for a classic comedy.
But the problem with Ted is that’s it’s just not funny enough. There are some laughs but once the novelty wears off they don’t come fast enough or have any variety to them. Also some jokes, as with Family Guy, don’t translate very well and most of us outside America will not bat an eyelid when a confronted with a joke about Tom Some Random Actor From Top Gun Skerritt. Ted might be more amusing for teenagers than us mature adult types who like our comedy pithy our slapstick with top-hats attached. Basically, add two to the rating if you’re a fourteen year old American.
At first this seems like a novel idea – how many foul-mouthed teddy bears have been in a leading role – but then you realise that this kind of thing has all been done many times before. Maybe not the dirty talk bit but this isn’t much different from a jive-talking Donkey in Shrek or a slacker alien in Paul. Furthermore, the pedestrian plot is entirely predictable and uninteresting. MacFarlane has fallen a little short with his first feature film but fair play for going ahead with a far out idea.
It's Got: Some decent performances, an entertaining narrative, interesting premise
It Needs: A less predictable plot, more laughs, a weedier hero
Both novel and worn this comedy from the Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane is just too predictable and unfunny.