Security Blanket

Ted: written by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild; directed by Seth MacFarlane; starring Mark Wahlberg (John Bennett), Mila Kunis (Lori Collins), Seth MacFarlane (Voice of Ted), and Giovanni Ribisi (Donny) (2012): Watching Ted for the second time, this time on TV, it’s visual crumminess is less apparent, though still noticeable. I’m sure Seth MacFarlane doesn’t care. Either that or he was trying to make Kevin Smith look like Ingmar Bergman. And it does. Ted makes Clerks look like Wild Strawberries.

Nonetheless, it’s still a funny movie, with that Airplane vibe of throwing jokes at the screen as fast as possible so as to overcome the failure of any one joke. The Giovanni Ribisi subplot that takes over the final third of the movie is still crap, the movie is still at least 20 minutes too long, and MacFarlane’s sudden turn into sentimentality towards the end of the film would get him kicked out of the Airplane/Mel Brooks School of Film Comedy, if such a thing existed.

Maybe the funniest thing about the film isn’t in the film. See, Ted focuses on its protagonists’ love of the awful 1980 sf/action/comic-strip-movie Flash Gordon, which starred Sam Jones, who would soon never be seen again. Until Ted, in which the characters actually get to meet with (and party with) Jones. But in real life, Jones now runs a high-profile security firm. How could MacFarlane not have made this a plot point? Such a missed opportunity to not have a talking, walking teddy bear and Mark Wahlberg working security for Amanda Bynes or Lindsay Lohan! Alas. Recommended.

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