Monday, January 6, 2014

Film Review: Ted (2012)

Ted (Review)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a great comedy with a wide range of humor..."

As a child, John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) received a teddy bear for Christmas named "Teddy." That night, upon a falling star, John wished Ted was alive... and it comes true.

Ted continues at present time, 2012 in this case, as John and Ted (Seth MacFarlane) are still best friend and share an apartment with Lori (Mila Kunis), John's girlfriend of four years. Following a typical formula, John must cut his ties with Ted to grow up and further develop his relationship with his girlfriend. So, John and Ted split up, John trying to be an adult and Ted working on the fast track at a convenient store. Of course, the issue persists, and the relationship problems continue to grow. The ending of the film is as clichés as it gets, but that's what it's aiming for, or at least that's how it seems.

Ted is consistently humorous with a great range of comedy. It has some lighthearted and black comedy, some offensive jokes, and plenty of references to the great 80s and pop culture. Ted actually plays out like an 80s comedy, which is why the ending and many other elements feel cliché. This feeling was kind of irritating and inauthentic, though. I laughed throughout the film, however, and enjoyed the old-shool comedy story. There are a couple of jokes that don't really land, but they are outnumbered by the good ones. On that same note, the referential comedy is hit-or-miss depending on how knowledgeable you are on the references. Also, although the film is moderately paced, the runtime feels bloated and the film begins to drag during the final act.

Mark Wahlberg is great as the lead with a very fun and genuine performance. Mila Kunis is also great, despite less screen time. Seth MacFarlane is a great voice actor, his voice sounds like a mixture of his many characters from Family Guy and American Dad, mostly Peter, Quagmire, and Brian, though. The many guest appearances also perform well. The special effects are superb, Ted's design is perfect and his movements are incredibly fluid amd consistent The music is exciting and captures that 80s vibe very well. The film is shot well with great camerawork. Seth MacFarlane's direction and writing are great, showing skill and even greater promise.

Overall, Ted is a great comedy with a wide range of humor -- more than a handful of laugh out loud moments. The creative story also takes you back to the good old days. However, some jokes fail to land, and the referential comedy can split the audience. Also, the runtime is bloated causing some unfortunate exhaustion before its end.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, excessive profanity, nudity and some sexuality.

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