Soooooooo…Seth MacFarlane and audiences learned 2 very important lessons with this film: “Ted” or anything “Ted related” works; if it’s not “Ted” or “Family Guy” related…then it doesn’t work, such is the lesson we all learned after the misfire known as “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Now MacFarlane is back to voice, direct and write the fowl mouthed teddy bear that made him even more famous than Peter Griffin. “Ted” was a hilarious surprise success story and now were back to see if Ted and Wahlberg can make us laugh our asses off once more in this sequel. Is this another “Million ways” or a comeback for MacFarlane’s crude creation? We’ll see. Months after John (Mark Wahlberg) has been divorced from Lori, Ted (voice of Seth MacFarlane) and Tami-Lyn (Jessica Barth) get married and plan to start a family anyway they can.

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Unfortunately, Ted finds out he’s considered “property” and not alive enough to be legally married or adopt a child. Ted and John hire newbie attorney Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) to get their day in court and prove Ted is alive and is deemed the same rights as everyone else. Despite being based on a ludicrously absurd concept and loaded with bong hits and dirty toilet humor, the first film had a decent amount of touching moments between Ted and John; establishing a meaningful relationship and bond that no one could deny…or understand. With “Ted 2”, sentiment and caring is flushed down the gutter along with any sense of decency; (especially after the sperm donor scene), in order to make room for watching a CGI bear have a damn good time. This film is about having fun, this is an excuse to just have Ted get into more shenanigans and drag Wahlberg along for the raunchy ride.

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Sure, there is a story here and when it needs to (briefly); it brings out the appropriate touching or serious moment needed. But “Ted 2” takes itself even less seriously than the first film did and really; we don’t care as long as we get a good laugh out of it. No one goes to see any movie (or its sequel) involving a cursing, pot smoking teddy bear and expects some poignant story to increase your intellect; you see it to have a few laughs and that’s exactly what “Ted 2” delivers. While I miss Mila Kunis, I actually favor the use of Seyfried with Wahlberg because their relationship allows both to be kooky and crazy without feeling the need to reign in on any of the madness for the sake of presenting a realistic romance like the first film did.

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Wahlberg has found an incredible talent when it comes to comedy, he was hilarious in “Ted” and “The Other Guys” and; surprise-surprise; he’s even funnier here in “Ted 2.” He just excels with his physical humor and engaging reactions, it doesn’t matter what stupid thing he’s saying or doing; I can watch Wahlberg make an ass of himself anytime any film. In some ways, this film feels more like an episode of “Family Guy” with random cameos, nerdy 80’s references and even hilarious “battle royale” at San Diego Comic con that feels like it came right off the pages from Seth Green’s scripts from “Robot Chicken” (Green is a co-star on MacFarlane’s “Family Guy”). There’s some great nods to the first film as well; all kept in good fun…at least until we get to the heart of the matter with the whole pesky Ted’s humanity story…thing.

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I mention it that way because the movie seems to forget it has to have a point amongst all the pot puffing pranks and bad language; like it’s a chore you have to deal with and can’t put off any longer. It brings a slight sense of unbalancing that kind of divides the movie, one half feeling forced to follow a traditional format while the other tries to enjoy as much of its naughty side before having to come back to reality. “Ted 2” is funnier than the first “Ted” but the original film did have more of a balance to its narrative and that is one loss that can still be left; no matter how hard we try to laugh it off. Still, “Ted 2” is a raunchy riot that doesn’t disappoint despite its flaws; it’s funnier but not superior to its predecessor but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad trip that you will want to miss out on.

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