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Dan's Review: Ted

It's like that time when a successful creator of a vulgar network cartoon made a movie about a talking Teddy bear.
Ted (Universal)

Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, (voice of) Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Matt Walsh, Jessica Barth, Aedin Mincks, Bill Smitrovich, Patrick Stewart, Norah Jones, Sam J. Jones, Tom Skerritt, Bretton Manley.

Written by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.

Directed by Seth MacFarlane.

GRADE: B-

REVIEW:


It's like that time when a successful creator of a vulgar network cartoon made a movie about a talking Teddy bear.

Yes, if you know the Seth MacFarlane comedy formula, you'll understand that statement. If not, then Ted, the story about the friendship between a man and his talking Teddy bear will be a whole new experience for you.

Mark Wahlberg stars as John Bennett, whose young life was scarred by bullying, mistreatment and a lack of friendship. On Christmas 1985, John gets a large stuffed (electronic) talking Teddy Bear as a gift and makes a wish that his new stuffed animal could really talk and be his friend forever. He gets his wish, and his bear "Ted" becomes a flash-in-the-pan pop culture star.

Flash forward a few decades, and Ted's (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) celebrity has faded as John works at a car rental agency. John's love is Lori (Mila Kunis), a succesful PR representative. The trio live in Lori's Boston apartment.

John's dependence on Ted begins to cause problems for their relationship, since the vulgar stuffed bear influences John to engage in destructive behavior, like smoking huge amounts of weed, drinking and general slacking.

John eventually gets an ultimatum from Lori, but blows it when he gives into Ted's temptations once again. When Ted is kidnapped by a deranged fan, Lori and John must try to save him and their relationship.

Ted is vintage MacFarlane, full of the same kind of humor you'd expect from any episode of Family Guy, complete with 1980s pop culture references, show tunes, raunchy observations, and absurd behavior. You even get a little "Stewie" voice action.

MacFarlane's voicing of Ted sounds so much Like Peter Griffin, you might not be able to tell the difference (MacFarlane even makes fun of the similarity). The only contrast between the netweor cartoon and Ted is the R-rated movie live-action version of MacFarlane's comedy has a lot more obscene language, sex and drug use.

Wahlberg, Kunis and other supporting cast members do an adequate job, but MacFarlane is the only reason to see Ted. Some of the humor hits (just like Family Guy) and some of those MacFarlane staples begin to seem a little stale, like that time when Seth...

...you get the point.

Hey, if the formula works for you, then snuggle up with the foul-mouthed Teddy bear. For many, Ted might not be anything new.


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