Ted - Blu-ray Review

'this stuff hasn't been that great since the Team America guys nailed it'

Where it used to be so daring and outrageous you wondered quite how they got away with it and where it used to be so funny your sides would ache, the later series of Family Guy are now fading into recycled jokes, not outrageous outrage, misplaced insults and 'hilarious' side-swipes at b-list celebrities. With that in mind, enter: Ted.

With the content of his TV show floundering, Seth MacFarlane dips into the film world as co-writer, director and star of a film with all of the problems Family Guy has been experiencing for the last few years. Ted is funny but not funny enough, the constant raft of 'jokes' with the punchline being that someone is 'gay' aren't offensive in the right way, the reliance on base level humour (cleaning feces off a carpet) doesn't stick for a two-hour film. Almost everything that goes wrong here has gone wrong with MacFarlane before and you start to get the feeling that he needed some experienced producer to tap him on the shoulder and whisper that this stuff hasn't been that great since the Team America guys nailed it. Then you look down the list of producers. Credit number one: Seth MacFarlane.

Clearly then, this stuff still makes Seth laugh and with a worldwide gross some ten times its budget and a slot hosting The Academy Awards, he'll be doing so all the way to the bank. As ever though, green presidents don't always prove that a film works. Case in point: the final act of Ted is the laziest example in recent memory of a film feeling the need to manufacture an antagonist and then going out and getting one off the shelf, who has little to do with the rest of the plot. Ted's bumbling narrative about the bear (MacFarlane) and his relationship with slacker John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) proceeds in an alright-ish way, until it throws a not-demented-enough Giovanni Ribisi in later on and we get to witness ten whole minutes of a kidnap Drama the film about relationships and growing up didn't need.

Not that it's all completely awful. A recurring joke with Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones, is a rare celebrity treat that remains quite funny and then doesn't outstay his welcome (although it is countered by a disastrous and pointless cameo from Norah Jones). Joel McHale has a ball as Lori's (Mila Kunis) perverted boss and there's a memorable scene-stealing appearance by Patrick Warburton's boyfriend. Wahlberg pratfalls gamely opposite MacFarlane's voice but the rest is background noise and Kunis plays is so straight she seems to have come in from a film not directed by Ted's thirty-nine year-old fratboy overseer.

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