Bill Cosby, 9/11, Robin Williams, Charlie Hebdo: those are just some of the things that ‘Ted 2’ makes fun of… in a single scene. Needless to say, this sequel is every bit as irreverent as the 2012 original with which ‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane transitioned his brand to the big screen. Whether or not that’s a good thing is a matter of individual taste. But if you’d like to see Mark Wahlberg get drenched in human sperm, you’ve come to the right place.
Continuing the perversely sincere story about the friendship between a Boston bro named John (Mark Wahlberg) and his talking teddy bear (Seth MacFarlane), ‘Ted 2’ begins with the hard-living stuffed animal getting married. Nobody bats an eye about the union until a year later, when Ted and Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth) begin to confront the logistics of a human woman having a baby with a penis-less stack of cotton.
But the real issue only comes into play when the couple applies for adoption, which prompts the state of Massachusetts to strip the sentient bear of his personhood. Cue a prolonged legal battle that pits Ted’s newbie lawyer Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) against the prosecution’s high-flying heavyweight (John Slattery) in a civil-rights case for the history books. MacFarlane follows the jokes that flitter through his head like a distracted bloodhound, abandoning plot in order to chase a punchline.
But who else would stop a movie dead in its tracks to squeeze in a prolonged scene about Liam Neeson nervously buying a box of kids’ cereal? MacFarlane’s preference for quantity over quality results in a lot of dead air, but the gags that land are howlers, and for all of its crudeness, the movie beats with a real heart.