Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ted





“Ted” was one of those films that would either be brilliant, or it would flop. It’s already grossed a hefty amount at the Box Office, so it’s an undeniable box office success, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a good film. “Ted” is directed and written by Seth McFarlane, the producer of Family Guy. Now, I’m not the greatest fan of Family Guy. I find some episodes good, and some, in the nicest way possible, embarrassing. It was pretty obvious this film would reflect the same humour, meaning that as I sat down in my local cinema, I had no idea what to expect.

“Ted” opens with a young boy called John, with no friends, who receives a teddy bear as a present at Christmas. That night, he wishes that the bear (now named Teddy) could talk. The next morning, he wakes up, and hey, the bear can talk. They promise to be best friends for life. 27 years later, Ted (Seth McFarlane) is still living with John (Mark Wahlberg) and his girlfriend of four years Lori (Mila Kunis). This involves them both getting high on a near daily basis, John not getting anywhere in life and Ted jeopardising John and Lori’s relationship. Lori wants John to ditch Ted, but John doesn’t want that. Can the 3 of them work out a fitting solution?

Well, there’s no other way to say it. “Ted” is fucking hilarious. It is without doubt the funniest comedy I’ve seen so far this year. It’s by no means perfect, and there are moments where everything technical just completely falls apart, but as a comedy built solely to make audiences laugh, “Ted” is a huge success.

This is mainly down to the script. Unlike what I assumed, the majority of laughs here come from the script. Whether it involves little digs at celebrities (namely Chris Brown and Katy Perry), pretty funny insults or hilarious one liners, I found myself laughing a lot. That being said, the script doesn’t really have much emotional depth to it, but I wasn’t expecting much in those terms anyway. But, overall, I was more impressed with the script than I expected to be. I was expecting “Ted” to be one of those annoying, slapstick comedies, where everything comes from shouting and screaming and swearing. Whilst “Ted” does use profanities as much as humanly possible, there are numerous jokes with their use, and they are usually the funniest.

The acting is another aspect I should praise. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis do great jobs here. They enable us to dive right into their relationship, and we feel as if we’ve known them a lifetime. I cared for both characters the whole way through, and found them both likeable. John only wants the best for Ted and Lori at the same time, and Lori has this atmosphere that she can be a fun, lively person; she just struggles with Ted around. This makes us feel sorry with her, and we can sympathise with her character. Plus, it’s Mila Kunis. You could have 90 minutes of just Mila Kunis and it would be a satisfying film. Yes.

But, “Ted” is far from perfect. Whilst it is wildly funny, the script is uneven. There are points where just nothing happens. The plot goes nowhere, the script stops being funny, and we’re stuck with about 20 minutes of a scene that goes nowhere with the film. Also, the jokes are extremely hit and miss. When they hit, they’re excellent. You’ll find yourself in tears. When they miss, they really miss. Note to Seth McFarlane: FART JOKES ARE NOT FUNNY. Another flaw is the subplot. Whilst “Ted” can be considered original for its use of a talking teddy bear, if you strip back the characters and look at the story, the whole “Romance Vs Bromance” is highly unoriginal and boring. It also has a ridiculously clich├ęd, cheesy ending, and it’s stupidly predictable.

But, all-in-all, “Ted” is a good film. Not amazing, but by no means bad. It falls into a long list of comedies that could’ve been classics, but fall short. “Ted” is structurally a brilliant film. It has some forms of originality, it works as a comedy, it has likeable characters, it isn’t overlong or too short, Mila Kunis…etc. I just felt that if Seth McFarlane tried a bit harder, it could’ve been so much better. The film feels like a tribute to everything Family Guy has ever done. All of the cast are in it, they reference Peter Griffin and the music is almost identical. In my eyes, “Ted” is way above Family Guy. I think it’s time McFarlane realises he has a possible career in the film industry, and sets his eyes and aims a little higher. If there is one thing “Ted” proves, it’s that he’s capable of it.

To Summarise: Using a solid script, strong performances and brilliant humour to its advantage, “Ted” makes for the best comedy of the year; it just should’ve been better. 


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