‘Ted’, the new film from Fox’s animation king pin Seth McFarlane, feels like an extended episode of Family Guy, which is a good thing if you are a fan of the show. If you are not, then it was probably not the movie for you anyway.
‘Ted’ opens with a young boy named John who wishes for his teddy bear to come to life and be his best friend. There is a hilarious scene at the beginning of the movie when John tells his parents about his wish to bring Ted to life and introduces them. Ralph Garman and Alex Borstein, both Family Guy alums, are great as John’s parents and act fantastically surprised to learn that Ted has come to life.
The movie then flashes forward 28 years to a 37 year old overgrown man-child John, who still hangs out with his buddy Ted and smokes pot and watches old re-runs of Flash Gordon. Ted and John’s relationship becomes a growing concern for John’s love interest Lori, played by Mila Kunis. The plot is eventually solved in the formulaic way most relationship comedies are solved, but that is not where the genius of ‘Ted’ lies.
The humor of the movie is the real star. It is unmistakably Seth McFarlane humor, and has all the staples of a great McFarlane comedy: obscure 80’s references, hookers, drugs and an extended fight scene that lasts a little too long but then becomes hilarious in its length.
McFarlane and his writing team have become masters at crafting sharp and witty dialogue that has the guts to not play down to its audience and stands on its own, even if we don’t get the joke.
The only issue I had with the film was that the pacing seemed off. The movie felt like we were moving from joke to joke rather than having our characters ease us from scene to scene. I think, even though the jokes were funny, McFarlane’s Family Guy humor does not directly translate onto the big scene.
There were many moments throughout the film where I was very aware that I was watching a movie. One characteristic I look for in a film is the ability to draw me in and to forget, for the duration of the movie, that I am sitting in a theater. And unfortunately ‘Ted’ did not do that for me.
Overall, I thought ‘Ted’ was a well scripted and funny film. It is not a movie that you need to rush out and see, but if you do watch it there will be no shortage of entertaining jokes.
1: One of the worst films ever made (Don’t ever watch) 2: A worthless film (unwatchable) 3: A bad film (but watchable) 4: Wait for the DVD 5: An average movie 6: Above average (you don’t have to watch it opening weekend) 7: A must see (watch it opening weekend) 8: An excellent film (you may have to see it again) 9: Midnight showing worthy (a near perfect film) 10: One of the greatest films ever made.