Sunday, August 12, 2012

TED - A live action Family Guy

There has been a slight delay in me bringing you my review on the film we saw last weekend, but I have finally found time to sit down and tell you what I thought of Ted, Seth McFarlane's first attempt at a feature film since his success with Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. For starters let me say if you are easily offended with fat jokes, toilet humour, racism and subtle 9/11 remarks then I can not suggest highly enough that you do not see this movie because that is the basis of what makes this film so funny.

The story is fairly simple with a child wishing his teddy bear could talk and low and behold that is exactly what happens. After a few years of celebrity stardom for Ted, being the first talking stuffed teddy of course, his fame has worn away and he struggles through life much like other celebrities who did very much the same thing. Patrick Stewart highlights this in some great narration. Twenty odd years later and the child is now Mark Wahlberg and he still has his talking teddy, only now he is a potty mouthed druggy who charms his way around women. This is just too much for Mark's girlfriend Mila Kunis and she demands Ted leaves which is tough for Mark considering he grew up with this Teddy. Other than this we have a slight kidnapping subplot which seems slightly thrown in but you forgive it due to Giovanni Ribisi's great portrayal of the kidnapper, creepy he certainly is.

Right lets get down to the main question: is this funny? Well i can tell you now it sure as hell is! Perhaps it isn't quite as funny as the trailer suggested but it still has some genius moments. Some of the best of these moments are during Ted's interview for a job or his unashamed interaction with four hookers in his apartment. There is also a very good sequence evolving around Flash Gordon which ties in with the theme of not being able to grown up, considering there is so much reference to the 70's and 80's. The film also is very much like an episode of Family Guy. Someone will talk about a moment in the past and we get a cutaway to said moment which is hilarious in it's own right. This is very clever as it works so well for Family Guy, but one of the problems with this is that the humour doesn't really interact with the story and instead we have random lines thrown in which although funny don't serve much purpose to the story. We also get many jokes which could go over some people's heads as they reference many famous people or are self-referenced such as when Ted claims he doesn't sound like Peter Griffin. There are others but I'll let you find that out for yourselves.

The casting of Mark Wahlberg at first had me slightly baffled but I have to say I have grown to actually prefer him in comedy films than I do in his typical generic action roles. He brings a likeability to his comic performances and here he is very believable as a man with a taking teddy. He also performs some scenes better than I could imagine anyone else to. The star of the show is Ted though, voiced by writer and director Seth McFarlane. Each time Ted comes on screen you are instantly hooked and it is generally him, or his scenes with Mark, that are the comic moments. Thankfully there isn't much time when Ted isn't actually on screen. McFarlane has done incredibly well in altering his writing to feature film territory and has created a character that everyone will just love despite his crudeness. Although at times the dialogue becomes a little cheesy, McFarlane still manages to please us with lines such as; 'back off Susan Boyle.' You'll have to watch the film to understand the context.

Overall then we have a film that has certainly come up trumps. I personally was a little disappointed in it but I was expecting it to be mindblowingly funny, and I still have never laughed till I cried since Borat and I expected that here. However talking to various people they found it better than they were expecting so I think it is safe to say it is one of the better comedy films to have been released this year. Perhaps I am being harsh on it but this is probably due to the typical comedy trailers that seem to take away all the funny bits. Please do go see this film because there is plenty more funny to be seen, just don't go in with ridiculously high expectations like me and I'm sure you will come out loving it. I was slightly disappointed and still found it ace.

Pros: Original idea and a great character in Ted.

Cons: Some of the shocks are given away in the trailer.

7.5 / 10

Top 10 films of 2012 so far:   

1. The Dark Knight Rises     10 / 10
2. The Hunger Games     8 / 10
3. Snow White And The Huntsman     8 / 10
4. Avengers Assemble     7.5 / 10
5. Ted     7.5 / 10
6. 21 Jump Street     7.5 / 10
7. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol     7 / 10
8. The Grey     7 / 10
9. Prometheus     6.5 / 10
10. Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World     6.5 / 10

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