Monday 6 August 2012

Today's Review: Ted

Yes, Seth MacFarlane has wandered into movie territory, and strangely under Universal instead of Fox. Oh well, maybe they didn't like the swears.

Ted (MacFarlane) was once just an average teddy bear, owned by John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). But when John made a wish that Ted could come to life, it came true, and while the bear was thrust into the limelight for a while, John and Ted simply grew up together as best friends. Which means, of course, that this teddy bear loves to swear, drink and bang hookers. But when Ted appears to be putting a strain on John's relationship with his girlfriend (Mila Kunis), it seems like it might be time for this man to leave his teddy bear behind.

It's a romantic comedy, with a talking teddy bear. It's a foul mouthed Family Guy, you know, before there was a family. The comparisons are inevitable, because this is so obviously a MacFarlane movie. His natural, Peter Griffin voice comes unabashedly from Ted, and the pop culture and self referential jokes run rife as always. But it's a bit of a breath of fresh air seeing as Family Guy has become all awkward cutaways and overused gags. This is a new situation, with new characters, and while many aspects are similar to Family Guy it's a good movie in its own right.

Not that it's without its flaws, obviously. I was fine with all the similarities with McFarlane's other work, but there were a few points where random bits were thrown in that didn't quite work. Also, Mark Wahlberg's accent was really weird. I guess he was going for Boston, but Ted doesn't say his words weird like that.

So yes, I would recommend Ted. It's a well made comedy, and while the humour may run a little dry or depend too much a knowledge of pop culture, there are quite a few genuine laugh out loud moments. It's not a perfect movie, but for his first, MacFarlane has managed to pull it all together nicely.

My rating: 4/5

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