If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Seth MacFarlane, the man who known from creating Family Guy, finally makes his debut in directing in his first feature length live action film, Ted. MacFarlane’s humor is the type of humor that is either loved or hated by audiences. Personally, I feel MacFarlane has been hit or miss through-out most of the years he has worked with comedy. Most of the older episodes of Family Guy are genuinely funny, and even American Dad has some really good episodes but most of recent Family Guy has not been up to par with the good episodes of the earlier seasons and The Cleveland Show is not really that funny either. At least for me, Ted was either going to be an incredibly funny comedy or an unfunny mess. Is Ted just as good as the best episodes of Family Guy, or is it as bad as the worse episodes of Family Guy?
The story is that a young boy named John Bennett wishes for his stuff teddy bear named Ted, played by Seth MacFarlane, to come to live so he can actually be best friends forever. The world is shocked by this discovery of a stuffed animal coming to life, until about many years later where people start caring. Now John, played by Mark Wahlberg, is still living with Ted and not only that, he also has a girlfriend played Mila Kunis, who unfortunately wants Ted to move out so they can go on with their lives as boyfriend and girlfriend, and thus hijinks ensues. One of the problem Ted has right off the back is that the plot is a bit too basic and predictable, it’s filled with a lot of typical clichés that we’ve seen in many comedies over the years. Now to be fair, Ted is not necessarily a movie where its main requirement is having an incredible plot, instead its requirement is to have likable characters and to have really good comedic writing. And that is the main question at hand here; does Ted manage to be a funny movie? The answer is, yes, Ted is a really good comedy. While Ted is not perfect, it is probably the best comedy of this year so far next to 21 Jump Street. Ted humor definitely feels more like humor from Family with 80s pop-culture references, gross out humor, sexual jokes that go far more extreme than the typical Family Guy episode and even about three cut-away jokes early on in the film. You may be drawn off by that factor alone, however the film’s written definitely feels like one of the best episodes of Family Guy. If you had a fear of this being just another Family Guy clone, don’t worry too much, while it has the feel of Family Guy, the jokes in here are funnier than nearly 75% of the newer episodes of Family. But not every joke hits the mark here. While the film is consistently funny, it does manage to have a few weak jokes in the mix. Whether it was a pop-culture reference or a fart joke, there were just a decent amount of moments where the writing didn’t feel as up to par like some of the writing earlier in the film. With that being said, there are more funny moments in Ted than there are unfunny moments, so in the end, you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of getting a good comedy.
Another thing that makes a comedy good like Ted are the likable character and thankfully, the characters in the film are all genuinely likable. Mark Wahlberg does surprisingly a good comedic job as John. Not only is he pretty funny in this, but the relationship with his character and Ted is very believable, you actually believe that they truly are friend, even if it is between a man and his stuffed teddy bear. The minor character are funny as well, though if there is one complain that should be mentioned in terms of characters is that they could have been a lot more done with the minor characters. Sure, whenever some of the minor characters are on screen, they are pretty funny, but it felt like there wasn’t enough with them. Which is a bit of a shame because there are some really great comedic actors in Ted that could have had a lot more screen time, mainly Joel McHale and especially Patrick Warburton, who is also involved in one of the funniest yet strangest cameos in the entire film. Though if there is one character that should and probably will be remembered in this film, it’s Ted himself. Ted is definite proof that if there is anything Seth MacFarlane is great at writing at, are his major characters and Ted is up there with Stewie and Brian as one of the best characters Seth MacFarlane has ever created. He has the funniest jokes, the best personality, and over-all a very believable and likable character even for being a foul mouthed Teddy Bear. If there’s any reason to see this movie, it’s to enjoy the great antics of one of the most memorable comedic characters in film in recent history.
Not only does Ted feel like a real character, but he also looks like one too. The CGI done for Ted is actually surprisingly good. The character looks great for the world Seth MacFarlane has created for Ted. The last quick thing to mention is that the music is done by Family Guy’s Walter Murphy, and it does sound like something from a typical Family Guy episode, but that’s not a bad thing either considering that the music in Family Guy is excellent and the music in here is great in this. You even get a good catchy theme song from Norah Jones in this, so the music in Ted is pretty good as well.
Over-all, Ted is definitely one of the better comedies to check out this year. It may not be the best in the past couple years but it’s definitely worth your time. If you are not a fan of anything Seth MacFarlane related, then it’s probably go to skip out on this movie, however if you are a big fan or at least liked Family Guy at one point, then this is a good movie to see at a matinee showing. In the end, unless if you actually want to see That’s My Boy, then Ted will most likely be the best comedy that you’ll see this summer.