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Outside the comfort zone

Ted 2 continues to strike a blow at political correctness

Kim Taylor-Foster

Reporter:

Kim Taylor-Foster

Outside the comfort zone

Ted 2 (15)
Running time 1hr 55mins
Rating: **

AUDIENCES love animated adult comedy Family Guy so much, people power brought it back from the brink when it was threatened with extinction, following a two-year hiatus after being cancelled by Fox.

Its creator Seth MacFarlane is something of a cult figure and he’s since embarked on a migration into movies, dragging his offensive style of humour kicking and screaming with him.

So far, attempts have been hit and miss. The original Ted was a success with audiences, and when it was funny, it was very, very funny. However, the bits in between where it gets bogged down by an overly-convoluted story made the whole thing feel like being stuck behind a tractor in first gear on an inclining country road. And then, the less said about his next effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, the better.

His third big-screen outing is a sequel to his original film about a teddy bear that comes to (crude) life, and it’s much like the first. But, where that was very funny in parts, this is only quite funny in the same parts – namely, set-pieces and one-liners – which are fewer and further between. Also like the first, the involved plot feels like it’s standing in the way of the jokes.

We pick up the story where John (Mark Wahlberg) has split from his wife Lori and has fallen back into layabout ways with ‘thunder buddy’ Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), who is also experiencing marital strife with wife Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth).

When they decide to go with the idea of a band-aid baby, Ted must prove to a court of law that he can legally be considered a ‘person’. Banking on a dismissal, the unbalanced bad guy of the first, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi), sees a way to get his hands on his very own Ted and a ‘kidnap’ plot ensues.

Moments of hilarity include Ted’s comparisons of Amanda Seyfried – who plays lawyer and love interest to John – to Lord of the Rings’ Gollum, a Liam Neeson cameo and a politically incorrect scene in a comedy club.

Though there is far too much here that sags, Ted 2 is a film that deserves championing. We need voices like MacFarlane’s clinging on to freedom of speech and the right to push boundaries in the mainstream. Thank goodness nobody has seen fit to censor him; everyone and everything is fair game.

Bringing offensive material to the masses is MacFarlane’s aim – and he achieves. If only he could do it as well as Sacha Baron Cohen and we’d have something really powerful – and entertaining – on our hands.

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