(Seth MacFarlane, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: The comedy of the year, 'Ted' is as crude as it is hilarious. And yet, it's got real heart.
The first film from the creator of classic animated TV show 'Family Guy', 'Ted' is a strong debut that should cement Seth MacFarlene as a cinematic force. Good comedy films are few and far between. MacFarlane has poured his contagious personality into making a great one.
The plot sees a lonely young John Bennett wish that his teddy bear will come to life and be his friend forever. Patrick Stewart's smartass narrator knows how much of a stetch this is and adds his own splash of cynicism. After this plotpoint wish has come true he muses "No matter how big a splash you make in this world whether you're Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber or a talking teddy bear, eventually, nobody gives a ****"
With this blast of dark humour we are transported to the modern day whereby John (Mark Wahlberg) has grown up to be a failure while former celeb and current hanger-on Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) enjoys bumming around with him and getting high. The crunch comes when John's girlfriend of four years (Mila Kunis) demands commitment - lose the bear or lose her. It's a familiar predicament except a little fluffier but 'Ted' seldom feels cliched because it's just so witty. And crude. You'll never look at a parsnip the same way again.
Make no mistake, this isn't a deep film. It's incredibly shallow but the tone is nailed perfectly by the cast whose chemistry expands to the trickiest genre of them all: broad comedy.
Some jokes fall devastatingly flat but MacFarlane's script is loaded with so many wry moments, its heart doesn't skip for long before the next laugh out loud moment assaults your senses. Taking the form of 'Family Guy' with quick cutaways to loosely related gags, it steamrolls right up to the end. What is unfortunate is that 'Ted' turns into an action film and gets lazy with its chase scene coda. It's a small detractor from an otherwise brilliant adult comedy.
Check out the hilarious trailer for 'Ted' and a great behind the scenes doc HERE at Cinemas Online.
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