|June 29, 2012|
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
Ted tells the story of a young boy who wishes for his Christmas present teddy bear to come to life. If that sounds too heart-warming for your liking, now picture that the teddy bear grows up to be a pot-smoking, fowl-mouthed bear who is now getting in the way of a blossoming relationship between his best friend (“thunder-buddy”), John (Mark Wahlberg) and girlfriend of four years, Lori (Mila Kunis).
On the surface, Ted is Seth MacFarlane’s chance to make a splash on the big screen for the very first time, directing and voice-acting the character of Ted. But deep down, Ted is a story of camaraderie and coming of age, even if that coming of age happens at 35 years old. Obviously the story is nothing new, but handled by the creator of Family Guy and given the R rating that it so needed (and deserved), Ted transcends its recycled plot by remaining completely unabashed.
The entire film is filled with epic one-liners and unforgettable moments. Between the slew of racist non-sequiturs and the obsession the two leads have with Flash Gordon (as well as an uncredited cameo by Ryan Reynolds), there is enough comedy in this film to give cause for multiple viewings, having missed some of the jokes the first time from laughing so hard. Even the visual effects of the character Ted are done so seamlessly that there is never a moment where you question his existence.
Mark Wahlberg has found his home in comedies, proving that his performance in The Other Guys, co-starring Will Ferrell, was no fluke. Though never quite surpassing Ted in the humor department, both play off each other extremely well and Wahlberg proves himself indispensable in the role of John Bennett. Mila Kunis never fails to impress, but with the bitchy, nagging girlfriend schtick, it gets hard to ever see her as a fleshed-out character.
Giovanni Ribisi also delivers a superb comedic performance, as a man that’s been stalking Ted for most of his life, having wanted his own talking teddy bear growing up, but settling for kidnapping Ted. His level of creepiness is equaled only by his dance moves to the song “I Think We’re Alone Now”.
Ted is the best comedy so far this year, delivering on all fronts, with jokes that hit there marks and absolutely no wasted moments. Every character, no matter how minor, gets their moment to shine comedically and Seth MacFarlane proves himself successful in his first feature film. Unlike this year’s previous raunchy comedies like 21 Jump Street and American Reunion, Ted is the first comedy that seems to completely appeal to both sexes (as well as to children, which is just too bad). If Ted leaves you with nothing else, it will at least cause some pondering over how a stuffed bear can have intercourse with a human.