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USA 2012
Directed by
Seth McFarlane
106 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
3.5 stars


Synopsis: John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) was a very lonely child. So lonely that one night he wished his teddy bear, Ted, was alive. And his wish came true. But that was when he was a kid, and John is now in his mid-thirties and Ted (voiced by Seth McFarlane) has grown up too. Kinda…

Enthusiasm for this film will vary, so a quick test is whether you find Seth McFarlane’s animated tele-comedies, Family Guy and American Dad funny (let’s ignore The Cleveland Show since it’s rubbish). That’s pretty much the baseline you’ll need to enjoy Ted, because now that he’s no longer shackled by television censorship. McFarlane has cut loose with some genuinely outrageous, offensive and juvenile gags. The good news, however, is that he’s a smart guy, and while much of what comes out of Ted’s mouth is crude and offensive, it never feels mean and it easily could have been. This is a film whose mission is to entertain rather than to mock.

John has to grow up and leave his childhood (read, Ted) behind. The plot is pretty much paint-by-numbers, a framework on which to hang a whole series of gags, but it’s simple and effective and just because you can call all the major story beats by fifteen minutes into the film doesn’t mean that it’s always lacking invention. The structure is simply not the substance of McFarlane’s film, which is a laugh-a-minute riot with some very clever takes on the whole man-child phenomenon.

The gags are what Ted is all about. It’s crude, silly and, if that’s your thing, fun from start to finish.

FYI: There was a 2015 sequel, Ted 2, that delivered more of the same.




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