Movie Review

By Séamus Smyth

Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show, takes his ruthless, arguably obnoxious brand of laughter to the silver screen with Ted.

Mark Wahlberg plays Johnny, a boy with zero friends who one day wishes upon a lucky star that his new teddy bear would magically come to life. Sure enough, Ted is no longer a mute, inanimate object, but instead becomes a living, breathing miracle to the comical shock of Johnny’s parents.

To ensure some form of reality is maintained, Ted becomes a global sensation, appearing on magazines, televisions etc. But amazingly, just like any other one-trick pony, the world forgets about Ted after a few years and he slowly slides into obscurity.

He does not however, slide away from Johnny, as they remain the ultimate dynamic duo or “thunder buddies” as they knight themselves in the early stages of their relationship.

The movie shoots off to the future where Johnny is now a 35-year-old slacker, barely able to get out of bed and keep his way-too-pretty girlfriend content because of his unbreakable loyalty to Ted.

Can Johnny ever pulls his socks up or is he destined to casually stroll through life with his babbling teddy bear? That becomes the ultimate question, but it’s difficult to urge Johnny to change when Wahlberg does such an excellent job of playing a likeable pothead.

His seemingly effortless humour is the highlight of the movie, even trumping Ted, who successfully conveys MacFarlane’s most prestigious traits, but also delivers a half-dozen sour-tasting lines that would be better left in the sewer.

Mila Kunis could make a cameo in a silent film and have people raving about her performance as she seems to be in a permanent state of beautiful bliss that never seems like a farce. The chemistry between her character Lori Collins and Johnny provides genuine smiles in a movie that, like so many comedies these days, has a dramatic story-line running a beating heart through what many thought would be strictly a laugh fest.

Similar to Johnny, the audience is caught between wanting him to make Lori happy because she is an absolute Goddess, but also desperately urging him to throw his priorities out the window and ride shotgun on the couch with his furry soul-mate all day.

The film has been successful because of an abundance of marketing, but more importantly because of the legions of men and women who swear by the smug punch lines of Family Guy. The dance sequences, the incredibly violent scrums that emerge out of nowhere and the offside shots at sensitive subjects are all teleported from MacFarlane’s television gold mines to his first shot at the big time.

Although Ted is far from perfect, it accomplishes enough to make a strong case for MacFarlane’s permanent promotion to the film stage.