The bear necessity – avoid this film.
It’s rare for a director to be labelled as controversial before his first film, but Seth MacFarlane’s illustrious career within animated television justifies this label. From psychopathic children to nine-eleven jokes, the Family Guy creator never shies away from the jokes he wants to make, however offensive they may be. Hoping to carry the success of his series onto the big screen, he ventures into live action with debut feature Ted.
A Christmas miracle grants young John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) the friend he’s always wanted in the form of talking teddy bear, Ted (Seth MacFarlane). After years growing up together John must choose to stay with his long-term girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), or maintain his friendship with the crude, drug-using, anthropomorphic teddy bear.
The problem for Ted isn’t that it’s too offensive – it’s that it’s poorly written, entirely predictable and terribly unfunny. From the off the narrative is disappointing, unsurprisingly for a film centred on a million-times-told romantic comedy plotline that’s strung together solely to include jokes. While there are a few laughs (maybe twice for me despite being a big MacFarlane fan) the jokes in general are poor and the filmmaker even resorts to regurgitating old Family Guy material in order to steal laughs. Fans of his comedy will be disappointed as it fails to live up to his esteemed reputation and success of television series, but what’s so significant is that he does so little to welcome new audiences.