• 2012-08-08
  • By Laurence Boyce

 Director: Seth Macfarlane

If you know that this is a film about a teddy bear that comes to life, I’d wager that some of you are expecting Ted to be a sweet natured kiddie’s film. Well, it’s directed by the man who made “Family Guy.” There you go, bet that put a few of you off. And probably intrigued a few others...

One Christmas Eve, lonely child John Bennett wishes his teddy bear would come to life. The benevolent spirits of the time decide to grant him his wish, and Ted comes to life. Soon both promise to be friends forever, which is exactly what has happened, as more than 20 years later Ted (voiced by Macfarlane) and John (Mark Wahlberg) are still stuck in the past. Now enjoying a life of pot and pop culture the pair enjoys nothing but sitting around and putting the world to rights – usually while using a lot of filthy language. John’s girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) wishes John could move on with his life. And when a freaky toy collector turns up, she may just get her wish.

Some of the film is reliant upon the fact that you find a teddy bear that swears, takess drugs and has sex funny. But when you get over that joke, there’s still a lot to like here. The script manages to be childish yet sophisticated, very crude but never veering into what seems to be deliberate and boring shock tactics, though it’s very near the knuckle sometimes.
The performances are good with Wahlberg showing some fine comic timing and Kunis being generally great. As a performer, Macfarlane does a great job of making “Ted” (an example of seamless CGI) feel a rounded and – sometimes – sympathetic character. As a director Macfarlane shows some fine sensibilities, though the final third runs out of steam with a tacked on plot seemingly forced on the film.

If you hate “Family Guy” with a passion, it’s safe to say you won’t like this. But for something a bit different, this should go down a treat.

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