Supremely talented entertainer Seth MacFarlane decided to take a break from his animated shows such as Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Sow to try his hand at a feature film...and this is the result.
As a child, eight year-old John Bennett wished that his stuffed bear Ted came to life. Well, it happened, and soon after, Ted became something of a celebrity for a while. Twenty-five years later, Ted is no longer a celebrity, but he and John are as inseparable as ever. He's no longer famous, but John's stuffed pal proves to be quite a companion, spending most of his time drinking, swearing, doing drugs, and just partying like there's no tomorrow.
This would all be well and good except for the fact that John hasn't really grown up, and his continued attachment is really putting a strain on his attempts to take his relationship with his beautiful girlfriend Lori to the next level. Despite their closeness, it just might be time that John and ted finally parted ways...something that proves easier said than done.
When i first heard about this film, I was a little apprehensive. I do love MacFarlane, and Family Guy is quite a show, but the more recent seasons have been going downhill, and I was worried that this film might suffer the same fate. I Started to change my mind, and decided to approach this with as little expectation for greatness as possible.
I'm happy to report that the film is quite a success, and is probably the funniest and easily the foulest to feature a stuffed bear as a main character. Seth MacFarlane is great as the voice and motion capture of Ted, and I loved how they even reference the fact that the character is basically Family Guy's Peter Griffin as a bear. As the adult John, Mark Wahlberg is tremendously funny, and shows a real knack for comedic timing. Mila Kunis is really good in the typically one-note role as the girlfriend who can't wait for things to get to the next level, and she too has a nice rapport with her plushy costar.
As one would expect from MacFarlane, there's a lot of collaborators from his animated works involved here, and this easily fits in the with rest of his work, but thankfully it avoids being a live action version of what he normally does. The film is funny, wild, dirty, and surprisingly quite touching, charming, and moving at times. It even gets fairly dramatic and creepy in places too.
Thankfully it all balances out nicely, and makes for a highly entertaining and inventive film. The visual effects are great, Walter Murphy's score is really good, and the pop culture references are pretty much nonstop, with special reverence paid to Flash Gordon and its star Sam J. Jones.
Aside from the three mains, the rest of the cast are decent too, with Joel McHale excelling at sleazy jerkery, and Giovanni Ribisi being the epitome of creepy yet funny as some big highlights.
If you're already a fan of MacFarlane's works, you probably enjoy this no problem. For everyone else, well, if you like the film's high concept ,and want a film that's quite raunchy, then you too just might have a good time. Here's to hoping MacFarlane cranks out some more features in the future.