Posted September 24, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV


Note: This review *may* contain a few minor spoilers – no specific details, though, aside from a plot summary. Pics were taken from trailers and good ol’ Google Image Search.
Universal Pictures, Solar-UIP
Philippine Release: October 3, 2012
Rated R-18
106 minutes

Despite what overly-stretched Japanese cartoons about Mary Sue* ninjas and creepy guys with sketchpads hiding behind bushes in expensive private schools tell us, it’s hardly ever cool to be a “lone wolf” type. More than we’re willing to admit, we need friends… or at least someone you can point a finger at when you feel the need to to drop some really mean gas in a room full of hot women and stage a somewhat faithful re-enactment of Hiroshima.

It was the bear. It was TOTALLY the bear.

Ted follows the story of John (Mark Wahlberg), who wanted nothing more as a child than to have a really good friend. He got more, so much more, than what he bargained for when he wished his teddy bear, Ted (Seth MacFarlane), to life one night. Ted became his best friend, promising that they’ll be together for life. Fast forward to the present, and we have a 30-something and very much immature John still hanging out with his beloved teddy bear, even after securing a job and being in a serious 4-year relationship with his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis). In fact, his teddy bear appears to have aged (in the figurative sense) more than he has – Ted is now a sarcastic, potty-mouthed drug abuser. As the story progresses, we see them have interesting, life-defining experiences with unique people… nah, actually there’s just a lot of cursing and breaking stuff and racist jokes.

And almost all of it is HILARIOUS.

I’m so memorizing the Thunder Song.

This is pretty much Seth MacFarlane at his best, regardless of whether or not his brand of humor is your cup of tea. Leave it to this guy to take an adorable stuffed toy and turn it into the personification of everything your parents would be downright horrified to watch you grow up to be.

Of course, for movies like Ted to work, a certain degree of suspension of disbelief is required; wouldn’t you be absolutely freaked out if you saw your Barbie doll combing her hair in front of your mirror, or your Punisher action figure making a really nice skull pattern on your wall with 9mm rounds and a rocket launcher? It is thus a nice touch that, very early on in the movie, the obvious question of how the world reacts to and functions with the reality of a teddy bear wished to life is swiftly dealt with. In fact, Ted treats the titular character much like how Brian of Family Guy or Roger of American Dad are in their respective universes; ordinary members of society that other characters communicate with, in a totally normal way, without even batting an eyelash.

If ordinary members of society humped grocery counter equipment, that is.

If there were ever really any doubt to begin with, this is definitely a Seth MacFarlane brainchild – there is no shortage of cutaway gags in Ted (and if you’ve ever watched an episode of Family Guy, you’ll certainly know that MacFarlane LOVES his cutaway gags). Add this to the fact that that Ted sounds like Peter Griffin at times (which isn’t surprising, as MacFarlane himself voices Peter on the show) and it feels like an extended episode of Family Guy. You know, if Brian sounded like Peter and had the same cuteness appeal as Stewie.

I’m of the opinion that it’s really hard to make a movie about a fluffy animal without at least inserting some half-hearted lesson about friendship or love or something. Or rainbows. Hell, I don’t know. In the case of Ted, we get a long-winded lesson about prioritizing relationships and growing up. It’s nothing new, but it works for this film, I guess. After all, you’re not going to walk into an R-18 movie and expect a Disney-like fairy tale, right?

Speaking of the R-18 rating… It’s about as appropriate a rating as it can get. The profanity in Ted has reached the point wherein it’s used openly in normal conversation, and while perhaps jarring for some viewers, I’m pretty sure that the shock of a cursing teddy bear will wear off pretty quickly for the majority of people who’ll see this film. If you’re the kind of person who gets offended by profanity and inappropriate references, then you probably wouldn’t see this movie in the first place, anyway.

You bleeping bleep of a bleep bleep.

Come on, it’s a movie about a crack-smoking teddy bear, it’s got Mila Kunis in it, AND it’s narrated by Professor X. What more could you possibly ask for?

*A Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) is an over-skilled or overpowered character. Like, for example, Naruto from Naruto. Or Sasuke from Naruto. Or…well, you get the idea.

A big big “thank you!” goes out to our friends from Solar-UIP for the special preview screening of Ted – be sure to Like them on Facebook!

Mikael Angelo Francisco