Ted 2 (2015)
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Jessica Barth & Morgan Freeman
Released by: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declares the foul-mouthed bear property, Ted 2 centers on Thunder Buddies Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy) and best friend John (Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter) as they fight for Ted’s civil rights. Teaming up with a beautiful eager attorney (Amanda Seyfried, Mamma Mia!), the pot-loving pals find themselves in even more hilarious misadventures. Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar), Jessica Barth (The Waterhole) and Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) co-star.
After its predecessor became Universal Studios’ highest-grossing film of 2012, an inevitable sequel involving more man and teddy bear hijinks was immediately fast-tracked. With an increased budget and previous co-star Mila Kunis (Black Swan) bowing out, Ted 2 finds the pint-sized partier Ted (MacFarlane) taking the plunge into marriage with his Boston bombshell Tami-Lynn (Barth). Wallowing in his own self-despair following his own failed marriage, John (Wahlberg) looks to help Ted and his new bride as they attempt to have children through alternate means. Following hilariously sticky situations at quarterback Tom Brady’s house and a fertility clinic, adoption is denied after the powers that be declare Ted property as opposed to a person. Determined to prove the courts otherwise, Ted and John seek legal assistance from lawyer and fellow pot smoker Samantha Jackson (Seyfried) to fight for Ted’s rights. In addition to regaining legal control of his life, disturbed stalker Donny (Ribisi) is once again trying to abduct Ted for his own bizarre reasons leading to a fittingly nerdy showdown at New York Comic-Con.
Accompanied by several notable cameos from Morgan Freeman as a civil rights attorney with an unsurprisingly commanding voice, Liam Neeson (Taken) and David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider), Ted 2 suffers the fate of most comedy sequels with fewer laughs and a weaker story. Although several sequences deliver including, Ted’s heated confrontation with KITT at Comic-Con and John’s death faking gag in the hospital, Ted 2 ultimately sacrifices its simplicity for a narrative that takes its courtroom proceedings a bit too seriously at times. In addition, several of Ted and John’s bantering conversations from the first film are recycled to a lesser degree in its followup. Highly anticipated and hoping for duplicate success, Ted 2 would ultimately underperform at the box-office earning only half of its originator. Overlong and mediocre at best, Ted 2 lacks the spark of the first film with its plodding narrative being its own worst enemy.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment presents Ted 2 with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Crystal clear and relaying vivid color, detail is exquisitely rich while, skin tones are excellently presented. In addition, the fuzzy fabric and texture of Ted stands out allowing viewers to fully appreciate the lifelike appearance of the motion-capture created character. Finally, black levels are deep and free of noise with no other digital shortcomings spotted in this exceptional-looking transfer. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, dialogue is perfectly tuned with the film’s effective musical opening title sequence making a dashing impression. Furthermore, crowd sequences, car explosions and the quieter ambiance of other scenes are expertly handled. Joined by the film’s theatrical (1:55:34) and unrated (2:05:50) presentations, special features include, an entertaining Audio Commentary with Producer/Director/Co-Writer Seth MacFarlane, Executive Producers/Co-Writers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild and Star Jessica Barth. Deleted Scenes (4:24), a Gag Reel (2:39), a Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe (7:28) featurette focusing on the chemistry between the film’s headlining duo plus, a four-part Creating Comic-Con featurette highlighting The Exhibitors (2:56), The Costumes (3:21), The Stunts (4:15) and The Showdown (4:12) is also available. In addition, Cameo Buddies focuses on the appearances of Morgan Freeman (1:22), Tom Brady (1:12), Liam Neeson (1:07) and David Hasselhoff (3:26) while, A Giant Opening Dance Number (8:48), Roadtripping (8:51), a DVD edition and Digital HD Code round out the supplemental offerings.
Falling short of Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut, Ted 2 still offers a handful of good laughs although, its plot of civil rights battles and child-bearing tends to forget what made the original so charmingly simple. Meanwhile, Universal Studios Home Entertainment delivers a release with five-star technical merits and an entertaining smorgasbord of supplements that fans will enjoy. While pot and potty-mouth anarchy run wild in this latest teddy bear talking sequel, Ted 2 falls below the standards of its first knee-slapping outing.
Available December 15th from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Ted 2 can be purchased via Amazon.com and other fine retailers.