- Director:Seth MacFarlane
- Cast:Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Mark Wahlberg
- Release Date:July 05, 2012
- Running time:106 minutes
- Film Worth:$19.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Mixing gut-busting humour and genuine chemistry between its two leads, this winds up an impressive and ballsy stand-alone comedy.
Mashing together childhood nostalgia, pre-adolescent dreams, and the kind of raunchy, unapologetic humour that he's become famous for with his animated TV creations (Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show), debut big screen writer/director, Seth MacFarlane, delivers a comedy belter of gut-busting proportions with Ted. This ballsy stand-alone stars Mark Wahlberg as 35-year-old Boston boy, John Bennett, a relatable everyman with an unusual problem. When he was a little kid, John wished that his favourite toy - stuffed teddy bear, Ted - was alive so that they could be real best friends. "I wish that you could really talk to me," John says with the kind of earnest longing that only a child can muster. The hitch? The wish came true, and over twenty years later, Ted ("played" in stop motion, and also voiced by Seth MacFarlane in a butter-thick Boston accent) is now an adult too. He's no invisible, imaginary best friend either - Ted is real. Initially a cultural curio, minor celebrity Ted is now just a part of everyday American life. And though he's two feet tall and covered in fur, Ted digs the same kind of things that most 35-year-old guys do: namely, bongs, beer and babes. But with the beautiful Lori (Mila Kunis) in the picture, John realises that she might be the one, and he has to tell Ted that their days as flatmates are over.
If you don't spend too long being pedantic about the film's internal logic (if Ted is a stuffed bear, with no lungs, how does he get stoned?), and just go along for the ride, Ted will grab you by the scruff of the neck and refuse to let you go until after the end credits have rolled. And if you're not a regular viewer of MacFarlane's TV shows, this perfectly paced film will feel even more fresh and lively. The pop culture references go off like firecrackers for the entire film (there are running jokes about Flash Gordon and Tom Skerritt, narration from Patrick Stewart, and even a brutal sideswipe at Superman Returns); there are cracking cameos to rival Bill Murray's in Zombieland; the humour is dangerously (but not too dangerously) off-colour; and the motion-capture animated Ted is a truly astounding creation. About ten minutes into the film, you actually start to think of him as a real character; fan-boys might not rhapsodise about Ted like they do Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings, but he's every bit as compelling, and obviously much funnier.
The interplay between the little bear (it's a terrifically comic and occasionally, gulp, sensitive performance from MacFarlane) and Mark Wahlberg, meanwhile, is brilliantly believable, and they instantly rate as a classic on-screen pair of mismatched buddies. Cannily giving the film a sense of threat through a weirdo Ted stalker played with obscene relish by a creepy Giovanni Ribisi, and warmth via the profound bond that exists between Ted and John, MacFarlane has made something really special here. Like The Hangover, Knocked Up, and Bridesmaids, the howlingly funny Ted invents its own comic language, and rates as a true original.