The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Ted | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Ted

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi

As a child, Wahlberg's wish that his teddy bear could speak comes true. Now aged thirty-five, he finds himself forced to choose between his lifelong friend and his girlfriend Kunis.
The idea of a foul-mouth child's toy doesn't seem particularly original yet unless you include "Child's Play" it hasn't really been exploited before. It seems strange that someone as smart as MacFarlane would choose such a dumbed down concept for his cinematic debut but I guess we all have bills to pay. I expected this to be about 20% clever humor and 80% toilet humor but mercifully it's more like 50/50. There are jokes aimed at the lowest common denominator as well as references that require you to be at least thirty with an obsessive knowledge of American pop culture. Sam Jones, star of the eighties "Flash Gordon" movie, appears as himself. I've ranted before about how much I hate the celebrity cameo gimmick so I won't get into it here, suffice to say I found it cheap and crass.
When you consider he spends most of his performance talking to a CG creation which hasn't been rendered yet, Wahlberg does very well but he's grossly miscast. For a start, no character who spends most of his time getting wasted on a couch is going to be in the sort of shape he is. It's MacFarlane's humor though that doesn't quite fit with him. There are lines that belong more to Jewish comedians like Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld rather than someone who looks like a former quarterback.
Ted himself is easily the most impressive use of CG I've ever witnessed. Unlike Jar-Jar or Golem, you never once stop to think that this is a character who doesn't share the same physical space as the human actors. A scene where he and Wahlberg trash a motel room during a brawl is hands down the pinnacle of computer effects work. I admit I despise CG but if it was all handled as well as this I'd come around pretty quickly.
Whether you like witty satire or fart jokes there'll be something to keep you mildly amused but be warned, if you're easily offended (or not a white male) you may not make it all the way through.