Seth MacFarlane’s sequel to his 2012 raunchy comedy hit “Ted” opens in theaters on Friday. With only a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems the critics aren’t too pleased by the return of Mark Wahlberg and his foul-mouthed friend, talking teddy bear Ted (voiced by MacFarlane).
However, comedies usually tend to do better than their critical response.
Projections for this weekend have “Ted 2” are hovering around $50-$55 million.
If you’re on the fence on whether to see the latest from the creator of "Family Guy" this weekend, here's a taste of what happens this time around and the critical take-aways. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead)
John (Wahlberg) is divorced (that’s right, no Mila Kunis this time around) and Ted is getting married:
Entertainment Weekly (EW):
“Picking up shortly after the first film left off, Wahlberg’s John is in the dumps after breaking up with his wife (played by Mila Kunis in the first film), while Ted has tied the knot with Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), a gum-snapping townie who works in the same supermarket.”
“…Ted’s own once-happy home has become a kitchen-sink melodrama of tears and recriminations (including the amusing notion that Tami-Lynn has been blowing too much of the family budget on shopping sprees at Boston discount retailer Filene’s Basement). The only way to save their relationship, Ted reasons, is for him and Tami-Lynn to have a child….”
Ted and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) trying to have a baby leads to a funny incident with an NFL superstar:
The Hollywood Reporter (THR):
“The search for a sperm donor includes a nighttime raid on the mansion of Tom Brady (one of many celebrity cameos), with a reluctant John assigned to milk the football great while he's asleep. Needless to say, the plan ends disastrously, although it does provide the opportunity for a timely joke, obviously added at the last minute, about the quarterback's balls.”
The two try to adopt instead, but are told Ted can’t because he is a “property,” leading to Ted going to court to prove he’s more than that. This opens the door for some risqué humor.
“MacFarlane draws many comparisons between Ted’s legal plight and the plight of African-Americans under slavery and one comparison about the plight of gay people trying to win civil rights in this day and age. Though MacFarlane makes obsessive jokes about blacks and gays, most of them are unexpected, sharp, and layered, so that they don’t merely prompt knee-jerk offense.”
However, critics do feel the movie is mean-spirited:
“Maybe I’m a softie, but some of the moments in Ted 2 struck me as uncomfortably mean.”
“‘Ted 2’ is the equivalent of a middle school bully. It's not as funny as it thinks it is. Its penchant for casual cruelty masks a hollow soul.”
Though there’s something about bathroom humor that connects with everyone:
“There follows a tidal wave of semen jokes, more than any censor could possibly mop up. Some are clever, some are just gross, some simply wager that audiences will laugh at seeing a fuzzy bear scream about getting jizz all over him. Cinemas are dark. If you laugh, few people will know it’s you.”
“…if you’d like to watch Mark Wahlberg accidentally get drenched in human sperm, you’ve come to the right place.”
And there are some fun cameos:
“The slew of cameo turns from celebrities who gamely make fun of themselves includes, once again, Sam Jones of 'Flash Gordon' fame.”
“Liam Neeson stealthily buying a box of Trix cereal worried that it’s just for kids.”
Overall consensus: It’s better than MacFarlane’s last film, "A Million Ways to Die in the West."
The 2014 critical and box office bomb (only took in $86 million worldwide) that MacFarlane directed, co-wrote and starred in is the only major flop of his career. But it seems with "Ted 2" he’s come back to steadier ground. His comedy will never win over everyone, but his loyal “Family Guy” fan base should find themselves at home with this one.
Check out the trailer below.