I can’t help but feel sorry for comedy at times. You make a hilarious movie only to have it unreciprocated by someone not sharing the same sense of hilarity. It’s particularly difficult when reviewing, because though reviews are by definition subjective, their task is also to be as objective as possible. I found Ted 2 funny in parts, but a theatre of pensioners might not. Continuing with such uncertainty may only invite the gods of chaos, and relativism. So is there a universal theory of comedy we should be judging this from? For instance, mine?
So yes, Ted 2 is quite funny. It’s inescapably Family Guy. Pre-occupied with waggery and unconcerned with civility. It’s also looking to some heavy subject matter. Initially, it seemed the film was going to be a child-bearing quest, as Ted and his new wife look for a solution to their obvious predicament. Then Ted’s ontology as a stuffed bear is brought into question. His marriage license, and every other license he owns are revoked and consequently his ‘human’ rights.
Some may argue this is too much for a comedy, let alone a Seth MacFarlane movie to handle. And some may be right. The narrative wisdom of testing the constitution in a movie that’s so comedically intrusive is still a grey area in my mind (and I usually support the hippies). Admittedly humour can be provoked from practically any circumstance, but my issue is Ted’s ambition to answer its circumstance seriously.
The civil rights of teddy bears is a tantalising question for the intellect, despite its fiction, though the nature of human rights has been covered better elsewhere, and would probably be more pertinent to cover elsewhere. Comedy is always welcome to ask serious questions while it makes jokes, but the uncultured wisecracking MacFarlane is so known for, is probably the reason its verdict felt so second-class.
Eventually, Ted 2 succumbs to the same weakness near all of its kind does, it stops being funny. Comedy as a genre is restricted by its very notion. To be funny all the time is simply unnatural, especially when you have to be because you’re ‘comedy’. When humour is expected to be a constant, rarely will those expectations be met.
So is it still worth seeing then? Depends. Thematically Ted 2 is a losing battle, and sure it’s part-way tasteless and crude, but it’s also a hearty laugh. Seth MacFarlane isn’t the bastion of elite-comedy his jokes like to imply, but he is good when you’re tired of laughing over lattes.