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Ted, Huggable and Hilarious

Most all of us have had a Teddy Bear when we were young, even if it was in the form of Yoda or Raggedy Ann, but nothing like the one in the movie Ted.  This fun filled film gives a great show under the direction of Seth MacFarlane who knows comedy and shows off his skills in a big way with Ted.

The fantasy story centers on John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) who gets a Teddy Bear for Christmas.  Since he’s been a loner due to being shunned by his classmates, he makes a wish that his Teddy would become alive and his friend forever.  The next morning low and behold, a talking, walking and wisecracking bear (voice of Seth MacFarlane) that he quickly names Ted.

Switch ahead to 30 years later and we find John now on his own, but still with his friend Ted. On one occasion in a bar he meets Lori (Mila Kunis) and they start a relationship.  Understanding how much Ted means to John, Lori accepts all the shenanigans that have become iconic between the two.  With John and her relationship getting more serious, however, Lori pushes John to have a separation from the stuffed animal causing a breakup of insurmountable proportions.

John (Wahlberg) with Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane)

The film pushes high on the laugh-o-meter and in fact almost bursts the bubble.  The high-energy comedic cast (yes even Wahlberg shows his penchant for the genre) puts the funny script through its paces creating terrific chemistry between the characters along the way.  Bouncing some excellent dialog, funny gestures and creative situations off each other, Wahlberg, Kunis, Patrick Warburton and other fine stars entertain big time.

The seamless creation of Ted by CGI, puppeteers and special effects personnel render the lovable arrogant bear to the point of near reality.  His facial expressions, realistic teddy bear fur and mobility turn the character into a living actor who makes the film magical.  You can see how Ted has aged over the years from his very active life that includes drugs, call girls, mischief, roughhousing and move.  With his fur slowly eroding, a few stitches breaking and some discoloration, he’s becoming a mirror image of John who has also taken an aging toll.

The champion of this film however can only be Mark Wahlberg who nails his character John the Boston native with a flare for unabashed living in Bean Town.  Wahlberg can hold his own with any script put before him from playing an adult movie star in Boogie Nights, a heartthrob in Rock Star, a despondent father in The Lovely Bones and a thief in Contraband you would think that comedy would be far from his forte.  With Ted he takes an extraordinary step into he world of a lead film comedian and turns it into gold.

Ted has been rated R by the MPAA for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  A laugh-riot with its excellent cast and script.

Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Seth MacFarlane (voice of Ted)
  • Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
  • MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, and some drug use
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Running Time: 1 hour 46 minutes
  • Opening Date: June 29, 2012
  • Distributed by: Universal Pictures
  • Reviewed at: AMC West Shore 14 in Tampa, Florida on June 26, 2012

 

About John Delia

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John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for 8 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the South Eastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1.

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