Ted 2 is one of those sequels that only got produced because the first one made a lot of money. Unlike the slew of other lackluster comedy sequels that disappoint, though, this one is a pleasant surprise. It’s not as fresh or funny as the 2012 hit, but it does continue to explore the humor, whimsy, and even the drama of being a living teddy bear amongst humans. In its own twisted way, the film ties in a meaningful message and grows up somewhat. Of course it doesn’t grow up too much. There are fortunately still plenty of lowbrow jokes regarding semen, bear sex, and black cocks to go around.
Seth MacFarlane once again directs, co-writes, and voices the lovable Ted. Mark Wahlberg is also back as the teddy bear’s thunder buddy, John, who has divorced Mila Kunis’ Lori. Why? Because Kunis probably thought Jupiter Ascending would be a better career choice. As John becomes newly single, Ted is officially off the market as he puts a ring on his human lover, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth).
The newlyweds soon decide to have a baby, but conception is impossible since Tami-Lynn’s womb is polluted and Hasbro never gave Ted a penis. Adopting a child appears just as unfeasible since the government recognizes Ted as property rather than a person. To prove that he’s more than just a stuffed animal, Ted goes to court and fights for his rights. He does so with Johnny by his side as always and with a pot-smoking, ASU graduate lawyer, played by the invaluable Amanda Seyfried.
Being a MacFarlane production, Ted 2 never stays too focused on the plot or character motivation. It’s just an excuse to laugh for just under two hours. MacFarlane gives his fanbase exactly what they want with consistently hilarious, if not offensive, one-liners; energetic musical numbers; and the occasional awesome cameo, most notably from Liam Neeson as a customer inquiring about a box of Trix. Even if not every joke kills it, the film is playfully fun from start to finish.
When Ted 2 actually stops to address whatever little storyline there is, however, it does say something about prejudice and the meaning of humanity. The film’s commentary isn’t as clever as the best of South Park. Yet, there is more heart here than you likely ever expected to see in an R-rated comedy about a sentient toy that tries to steal Tom Brady’s jizz. While the tone might be all over the place, Ted 2 hits pretty much every mark it sets out to.
The key to these movies is the friendship between Ted and John, with Wahlberg once again doing an utterly convincing job at acting opposite a CGI teddy bear. It’s a much better picture than the last buddy movie Wahlberg appeared in, Entourage. You wouldn’t want to hang out with any of the guys in that movie, unless you desired access to their yachts, mansions, or celebrity contacts. Ted and John, on the other hand, are just two cool dudes that anybody would be lucky to have as thunder buddies for life.