Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
5

Movies Review

'Ted' review: Seth MacFarlane makes wild and crazy directorial debut

By
Released on Wednesday, Aug 1 2012

Director: Seth MacFarlane; Screenwriters: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild; Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Sam Jones; Running time: 106 mins; Certificate: 15


So wrong and yet so right; this tale of devotion between a child and his teddy bear is everything you least expected. For one thing the child is a 35-year-old (Mark Wahlberg) and the bear has a stand-up comedy routine that would make even Jim Davidson pause and ask, 'Really...?'

Everyone else watching - provided they aren't easily offended - will be rolling in the aisles as Ted (filthily voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy) lets rip with his hair-raisingly funny and hopelessly twisted views on life, love and race relations.

Ted gets away with it, not just because he's a fluffy toy, but because he's so clearly devoted to his owner John. Also, because the very premise - that a teddy bear can walk, talk and smoke pot on the sofa - is so completely ridiculous, it's impossible to take the insults seriously.

'Ted' still
However, for girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis), Ted is a bugbear that keeps John from growing up. You may wonder why a smart career girl would waste four years on this loser, but Wahlberg takes a character who might have been obnoxious and evokes the charming naiveté of the lonely little boy who brought Ted to life.

Similarly, Kunis treads a fine line between being well-intentioned - encouraging John to put Ted in his place - and simply being a nag. She keeps to the right side of that line even after coming home to find Ted with a gaggle of hookers, playing a very unhygienic game of truth or dare...

After the clean-up, John agrees to keep Ted at a distance, but Ted is determined to keep playtime going. An even more surreal party finds John face-to-face with boyhood hero 'Flash Gordon' (aka, a hilariously spaced-out Sam Jones). Hanging out with Ted is a crazy-funny trip and despite his promise to Lori, John feels the pressure to take whatever drugs he's on.

You'll sympathise. It's alarmingly easy to get sucked into the wacky, blackly comic world of Ted (and MacFarlane) which gets even darker thanks to Hollywood's go-to weirdo Giovanni Ribisi. He delivers the yuks and the yuckiness as Ted's stalker - also the father ("or lover", according to Ted) to an awkward adolescent - then ups the stakes when Ted is finally left without his pal.

There's little mystery as to how this will all end and the relationship between John and Lori is never really threatened, even when she decides to date her leering boss (Joel McHale). Strip away the racy humour and the story is predictable. It's just the way Ted (or MacFarlane) tells it that makes it so funky and fresh - in more ways than one. Warning: this is strictly for grownup kids!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...