"Ted" is the first live-action film from Seth MacFarlane, the man behind the animated series "Family Guy." Here, he's directing, co-writing, producing, and even voicing the title character, so... no pressure, Seth! So the question is, is "Ted" any good or should MacFarlane stick to his usual cartoon schtick?
Story starts with a young boy named John, who wishes for his teddy bear Ted to be his best friend for life. The bear comes to life, and soon becomes the talk of the town. Cut to 27 years later, an adult John (Mark Walhberg) is still slacking around with Ted, smoking and drinking and getting into all sorts of trouble. John's girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis), after taking all that she can, gives John an ultimatum: it's her or Ted. And much hilarity and, surprisingly, much heart ensues.
Gotta say, I enjoyed this very much. As much as I may be a casual Family Guy fan, I really wasn't looking forward to this movie. The idea is great and sounded fun, but last thing I wanted was a 2 hour Family Guy marathon. Really, that is what it ended up becoming in the end. But just like that series, when the jokes hit, it is too hilarious.
Yes, the usual cut-away humor is here, and the pop-culture references are in full effect, even the cast is pretty much taken from the show. Mila Kunis, Alex Borstein, Patrick Warburton, and even Patrick Stewart, playing your not-too-typical narrator. But at the same time, that is not a bad thing.
Mark Walhberg, who is not known for being the funny guy, does a good job as man-child John. After all, he's getting into all kinds of humorous situations with a CGI bear that he makes it work. And Seth MacFarlane doing his usual thing with Ted the bear, the star of the show. Seeing as it's a rowdy, raunchy teddy bear, however, it works so much better and you just can't end up hating this character. It also doesn't hurt that the effects are really well done here, so kudos to the animators. Mila Kunis does pretty good also as Lori, even though she was kind of a pain at first but the character does have some heart to her and breaks her out of the typical movie girlfriend role that so many movies do badly with.
Joel McHale was fun as the typical jerk boss and Patrick Warburton had me laughing every time he came on screen in what was a really minor part. Look for some great cameos and again, the usual pop references, not to mention some really harsh jokes at some celebrities (Poor Superman...).
"Ted" is definitely a recommendation is you're a full-on Family Guy fan. If you hate the series, don't bother. Also, the last 20, 30 minutes kind of drag on and lose the momentum that the rest of the film brought. I wasn't too sure about Giovanni Ribisi's character either. Yes, there is heart underneath all the crude humor but at times it's like they tried WAY too hard. At the end of the day, "Ted" is all about friendship and staying close to the ones you love. Oh, and Flash Gordon too. So I'll give it to MacFarlane as he did some fine work here, not perfect and far from classic, but it works enough.
So if you like everything mentioned above, bring your thunder buddies with you and go check out "Ted"!