Mark Wahlberg plays the straight man to his highly inappropriate, permanently immature childhood teddy bear in the CGI buddy film, Ted.
Ted is the big-screen effort from small-screen impresario Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame (among others).
That’s actually a good piece of information to know going into this film as Ted will feel extremely familiar to any of MacFarlane’s fans. It comes off very much like a Family Guy episode except for the use of mainly live actors. It had the same touch of slapstick, the same degree of both obscure and not-so-obscure pop culture references and more.
For me that was a bit of a let down. I love Family Guy but this was so derivative that it felt like an imitation and not all that original. Don’t get me wrong. This is a funny film for the right audience and that audience is mainly a bunch of guys that like lots of jokes about sexual innuendo, body parts and bad addictions.
The title character of the film is a computer generated rendition of a “grown-up” teddy bear and the effects behind him were quite stunning. You forget he’s a creation almost at once. In most such films I spend half the time watching how the live actors interact with an entity that isn’t there. However the producers managed to pull it off I have no idea but the end result is entirely seamless. Actors interact with Ted with complete ease. What’s more is that they seem to react in perfect time to the smallest nuance from the CGI bear. Anyone considering a future in special effects should be sure to check out this entry to the genre.
No one will be remembered for the acting in this but everyone does a decent job. Most notable is Mila Kunis who continues to look absolutely stunning and manages to give this film a very nice grounding in reality often enough to give it some breadth. One surprise involves an actor I thought I’d never see again and he’s presented in a way that almost, but not quite, works. Regardless it was nice to see this guy is still around and able to poke fun at his own place in Hollywood history.
The soundtrack is, quite surprisingly for MacFarlane, rather dull. We get a few ’80s songs but they don’t really add much to the experience.
Aside from that Ted is, overall, quite funny but also quite forgettable. Thanks Seth, but we expect more from you now.