More than bear-able talking teddy sequel

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The furore surrounding the first movie was so (excuse the pun) ‘high’ that it proved to be a bit of a one-trick teddy – so with expectancy levels low (after lukewarm early reviews) the sequel proves to be a pleasant surprise.

Seth MacFarlane’s follow-up to the ‘pot smoking’ teddy bear comedy hit, now lacks the novelty ‘must see’ value which has seen it disappoint at the US box office – but is actually a more consistent ‘pound for pound’ movie than the first film.

This probably has eight or nine ‘laugh out loud’ moments compared to the original’s handful – see healthy jogger, filing cabinet and comedy club scenes for some standout gags – and as expected with MacFarlane, your enjoyment for Ted 2’s ‘near the knuckle’ crudeness will depend on your tolerance for the material.

Months after John’s (Mark Wahlberg) divorce, ‘alive’ soft toy Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lynn’s (Jessica Barth) marriage seems to be heading on the same path, before the couple come up with that obvious solution for their problems . . . have a baby.

But their efforts disastrously backfire, when it is brought to the attention of the law courts that Ted’s existence has gone under the radar – and he has to prove he’s actually a human being and not potentially a simple piece of property.

With no money to their name, John and Ted combine forces to fight a seemingly hopeless legal battle, with their hopes resting with inexperienced young lawyer Sam (Amanda Seyfried) – who fights Ted’s corner in an attempt to regain his civil status.

And the movie is actually at its best when John, Ted and Sam partake in several humorous set-pieces separate to the main plot – which really is flimsy at best.

In fact, the sub-plot where Ted’s nemesis from the last film, Giovanni Ribisi’s Donny, looks to kidnap him and cut him open to see how he’s actually ‘functioning’ for a greedy Hasbro exec, is actually a really unsatisfying side dish.

This coupled with an ending at New York’s Comic-Con which suffers the same generic pit falls as the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park finale which climaxed the original on such a tepid note, really shows plotting isn’t MacFarlane’s forte – but ‘short bursts’ like in the Family Guy series in which he made his name.

But if you fancy seeing this, you’re probably going for the gross-out trademark MacFarlane gags instead of an Oscar-winning story – so if this is your thing then Ted 2 has more ‘F-bombs’ than you can shake a stick at.

And more often than not, they actually stick this time round.

Rating: 3/5

Gavin Miller